The timeline of chemistry lists important works, discoveries, ideas, inventions, and experiments that significantly changed humanity's understanding of the modern science known as chemistry, defined as the scientific study of the composition of matter and of its interactions. The history of chemistry in its modern form arguably began with the English scientist Robert Boyle, though its roots can be traced back to the earliest recorded history.
Early ideas that later became incorporated into the modern science of chemistry come from two main sources. Natural philosophers (such as Aristotle and Democritus) used deductive reasoning in an attempt to explain the behavior of the world around them. Alchemists (such as Geber and Rhazes) were people who used experimental techniques in an attempt to extend the life or perform material conversions, such as turning base metals into gold.
In the 17th century, a synthesis of the ideas of these two disciplines, that is the deductive and the experimental, leads to the development of a process of thinking known as the scientific method. With the introduction of the scientific method, the modern science of chemistry was born.
Known as "the central science", the study of chemistry is strongly influenced by, and exerts a strong influence on, many other scientific and technological fields. Many events considered central to our modern understanding of chemistry are also considered key discoveries in such fields as physics, biology, astronomy, geology, and materials science to name a few.
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Famous quotes containing the word chemistry:
“The chemistry of dissatisfaction is as the chemistry of some marvelously potent tar. In it are the building stones of explosives, stimulants, poisons, opiates, perfumes and stenches.”
—Eric Hoffer (19021983)