Jan Baptiste van Helmont and an alchemist

Jan Baptiste van Helmont and an alchemist

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Caption: Jan Baptiste van Helmont and an alchemist. Artwork showing the Belgian doctor and chemist Jan Baptiste van Helmont (1579-1644, right), being given a piece of the Philospher's Stone by an alchemist. Van Helmont's work was part of the transition from alchemy to experimental chemistry. He invented the word 'gas' (from Greek chaos). He identified carbon dioxide and monoxide, nitrous oxide, and methane. He was the first to use the boiling and freezing points of water as standards for temperature. In medicine, he used remedies specific to the disease, the affected organ, and the causative agent. He showed that acid is the digestive agent in the stomach. He realised that matter is indestructible and that metals dissolved in acid can be recovered.

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