Groundbreaking Scientific Experiments, Inventions, and Discoveries of the 17th Century

By Michael Windelspecht | Go to book overview

G

Gases (ca. 1620–1670): To the ancient Greeks, air was one of the four fundamental elements from which all matter was derived. As such, there existed very little scientific interest in breaking down air into individual gases. However, in the 17th century the development of the scientific method challenged the historical basis of Greek science. In the early part of the century a number of scientists were redefining the Greek definition of an element. During this time there were a number of discoveries and inventions that revolved around air and the atmosphere. The invention of the vacuum pump and the barometer, coupled with explorations in air pressure and combustion and the development of chemistry as a scientific discipline, all heralded a renewed scientific interest in the study of air (see BAROMETER; BOYLE’S LAW; CHEMISTRY; COMBUSTION; VACUUM PUMP). Although the majority of the work in the study of individual gases would be accomplished in the next century, a number of important contributions were made during the 17th century.

The term gas originated in the 17th century with the work of the Belgian chemist Jan Baptista van Helmont. Owing to religious beliefs, Helmont rejected the Greek four-element theory of Aristotle. He contended that since fire is not mentioned in Genesis, it should not be considered an element. Furthermore, he believed that air was inert and did not contribute to chemical reactions. Thus, all matter must be formed from some form of water. To test his hypothesis he repeated an experiment first proposed by Nicolas of Cusa (1401–1464) in the 15th century. He placed a willow tree in a pot containing 200 pounds of soil. For the next several years Helmont provided water to the tree but did not make any additions to the soil. At the end of the experi-

-70-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Groundbreaking Scientific Experiments, Inventions, and Discoveries of the 17th Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Series Foreword xi
  • Acknowledgements xv
  • Introduction xvii
  • Experiments, Inventions and Discoveries 1
  • A 3
  • B 15
  • C 34
  • E 54
  • F 64
  • G 70
  • H 81
  • J 109
  • K 115
  • L 121
  • M 148
  • N 173
  • O 177
  • P 187
  • S 201
  • T 224
  • V 241
  • Appendix 245
  • Glossary of Technical Terms 247
  • Selected Bibliography 257
  • Subject Index 261
  • Name Index 267
  • About the Author 271
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 271

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.