Chemistry 125A: Freshman Organic Chemistry I - Lecture 19: Oxygen and the Chemical Revolution (Beginning to 1789) - Professor J. Michael McBride
Lecture 19 : Oxygen and the Chemical Revolution (Beginning to 1789)
This lecture begins a series describing the development of organic
chemistry in chronological order, beginning with the father of modern
chemistry, Lavoisier. The focus is to understand the logic of the
development of modern theory, technique and nomenclature so as to use
them more effectively. Chemistry begins before Lavoisier's "Chemical
Revolution," with the practice of ancient technology and alchemy, and
with discoveries like those of Scheele, the Swedish apothecary who
discovered oxygen and prepared the first pure samples of organic acids.
Lavoisier's Traité Élémentaire de Chimie launched modern chemistry with
its focus on facts, ideas, and words. Lavoisier weighed gases and
measured heat with a calorimeter, as well as clarifying language and
chemical thinking. His key concepts were conservation of mass for the
elements and oxidation, a process in which reaction with oxygen could
make a "radical" or "base" into an acid.
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