From Classical to Modern Chemistry: Some Historical Sketches

From Classical to Modern Chemistry: Some Historical Sketches

From Classical to Modern Chemistry: Some Historical Sketches

From Classical to Modern Chemistry: Some Historical Sketches

Excerpt

The purpose of the present work is primarily that of considering the historical development of certain branches of chemical science, which were either omitted from, or only adverted to in brief outline, in an earlier book, Modern Chemistry--Some Sketches of its Historical Development, published in 1946. The method of treatment, namely that of selecting particular topics and allocating them to separate chapters--that is, division according to subject-matter and not according to periods of time--has again been adopted. It may be added--as is indicated by the title--that somewhat greater emphasis has been given to certain of the older parts of the science.

Although the book is intended for the serious student of chemistry, the style of treatment is 'elementary' in the sense that it should appeal to others whose acquaintance with the subject is more limited, and whose chief interests may lie in altogether different kinds of study. It will doubtless be appreciated that in a book of this kind the sketches of individual topics must of necessity be somewhat impressionistic. But the selection of references appended to the several chapters should enable the reader to find the way to further and more detailed information.

In the opinion of the author, much of the history of chemistry-- and particularly certain of its most interesting features--cannot be properly appreciated without giving some attention to the corresponding history of physics. The comprehensive works on chemistry of the early years of the nineteenth century, such as the Lehrbuch of Berzelius and Gmelin Handbuch, contain lengthy sections devoted to heat, light, and electricity. Accordingly certain chapters have been written with this object in view, and with due regard to the relevance of these branches of physics to questions of more purely chemical interest.

The author considers himself as fortunate having regard to the valuable assistance he has received from several friends. Certain chapters have been read in typescript by Dr A. G. Sharpe, Fellow of Jesus College, and others by Dr F. Wild, Fellow of Downing College . . .

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