By Bernard Jaffe
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Extra so than any of the opposite significant teams of parts within the periodic desk, the transition metals have formed human heritage and feature been the workhorses of undefined. the invention of steel copper ended the Stone Age and ushered within the Bronze Age. Alloys of iron (especially metal) later took over, and the Iron Age changed the Bronze Age.
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Extra resources for Crucibles: The Story of Chemistry - From Ancient Alchemy to Nuclear Fission
Man was no longer to remain captive to the notion that an ape's leg tied around the neck would cure the bite of this beast, nor was medical knowledge to be gained by the scanning of the heavens. And what pernicious nonsense was this singular practice among the old men of Rome of being breathed upon by young girls to prolong their lives I Paracelsus abandoned all this witchcraft and superstition. He started the search for the potent drugs which the alchemist was to prepare or purify. Even the many herbs and extracts in common medical use were placed secondary to the value of these chemicals.
Others before him had obtained gases by heating solids. Scheele, the great Swedish apothecary chemist, had obtained the same results three years before by collecting "empyreal" air. Robert Boyle, a hundred years back, had heated the same red powder and obtained the same mercury. Stephen Hales, too, had liberated a gas from saltpetre but saw no connection between it and air. Eck of Salzbach, an alchemist, had likewise performed this experiment three centuries before in Germany, and yet the world had not been aroused, for nothing further had been discovered about the gas.
Tory many had discussed the fire principle. James Woodhouse, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, Pierre Adet, French Minister to the United States and devotee of chemistry, and John MacClean of Princeton University, besides Mitchill and Priestley, had threshed out the matter in a friendly spirit. Priestley felt keenly the overthrow of this doctrine. It had served men of science for a century and had pointed out a "The refutation of a fallacious hypothesis," he declared, "especially one that is so fundamental as this, cannot but be of great importance to the future progress of science.
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