Open Yale CoursesCHEM 125: Freshman Organic ChemistryLecture 19 - Oxygen and the Chemical Revolution (Beginning to 1789)<< previous session | next session >>Overview:This lecture begins a series describing the development of organic chemistry in chronological order,beginning with the father of modern chemistry, Lavoisier. The focus is to understand the logic of thedevelopment of modern theory, technique and nomenclature so as to use them more effectively. Chemistrybegins before Lavoisier's "Chemical Revolution," with the practice of ancient technology and alchemy, andwith discoveries like those of Scheele, the Swedish apothecary who discovered oxygen and prepared the firstpure samples of organic acids. Lavoisier's Traité Élémentaire de Chimielaunched modern chemistry with itsfocus on facts, ideas, and words. Lavoisier weighed gases and measured heat with a calorimeter, as well asclarifying language and chemical thinking. His key concepts were conservation of mass for the elements andoxidation, a process in which reaction with oxygen could make a "radical" or "base" into an acid.
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