History of The Periodic Table - Age of Enlightenment

Age of Enlightenment

Hennig Brand was the first person recorded to have discovered a new element. Brand was a bankrupt German merchant who was trying to discover the Philosopher's Stone — a mythical object that was supposed to turn inexpensive base metals into gold. He experimented with distilling human urine until in 1649 he finally obtained a glowing white substance which he named phosphorus. He kept his discovery secret, until 1680 when Robert Boyle rediscovered it and it became public. This and related discoveries raised the question of what it means for a substance to be an "element".

In 1661 Boyle defined an element as a substance that cannot be broken down into a simpler substance by a chemical reaction. This simple definition actually served for nearly 301 years (until the development of the notion of subatomic particles), and even today is taught in introductory chemistry classes.

Read more about this topic:  History Of The Periodic Table

Other articles related to "age of enlightenment, enlightenment":

American Philosophers - 18th Century - Age of Enlightenment
... science, and, in step with the thought of the Age of Enlightenment, a belief in the perfectibility of human beings, laissez-faire economics, and a general focus on political matters ... deism, as was characteristic of other European Enlightenment thinkers, such as Maximilien Robespierre, François-Marie Arouet (better known by his pen name, Voltaire), and ... and Rights of Man was an influential Enlightenment thinker and American Founding Father ...
Science Fact - History and Philosophy - History - Age of Enlightenment
... It is, during this period that the word "science" gradually became more commonly used to refer to the pursuit of a type of knowledge, and especially knowledge of nature — coming close in meaning to the old term "natural philosophy". ...
Age Of Enlightenment - Important Intellectuals
... who started the revolution in empirical thought that characterized much of the enlightenment ... and one of the earliest influences on the Enlightenment thinkers to advocate tolerance between the different religious beliefs ... Balthasar Bekker (1634–1698) Dutch, a key figure in the Early Enlightenment ...
Early Modern Switzerland - Age of Enlightenment
... The Age of Enlightenment was well received in Swiss cities, in spite of contemporary tendencies towards political conservatism ...

Famous quotes containing the word age:

    We are not cave dwellers anymore, we live in the age of technology. When someone needs a car, he does not need to build it. He can buy it. When someone needs a murder, he himself does not need to kill. He can order it.
    Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921–1990)