Jacob Bronowski is interested in the invisible structure of matter, and he notes that fire was a major factor in unlocking the secrets of chemical structure in particular. An important (but wrong) early theory about what fire was involved the theory of “phlogiston.”
What was phlogiston?
What is the best evidence against it?
What did it take to refute the phlogiston theory?
Why was Lavoisier successful in doing so?
Why do you think this theory, which proved to be entirely wrong, was so popular and followed by many of the greatest scientists, including Joseph Priestley?
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