The Sceptical Chymist (1661)

The Sceptical Chymist (1661)

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Credit: GREGORY TOBIAS/CHEMICAL HERITAGE FOUNDATION/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: The Sceptical Chymist (1661). This title page is from the first edition of this work by the Anglo-Irish natural philosopher Robert Boyle (1627-1691). In this book, written in the form of a discourse (dialogue), Boyle wrote that elements combine to form compounds, which can be broken apart again into their constituent elements. He also argued for chemistry to become an experimental science in its own right, speaking out against the influence of alchemists and spagyrists (alchemists who used herbal medicines). This work is considered a founding text of modern chemistry. It was first published in English, and later translated into Latin.

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