Lavoisier and Phlogiston Essay

776 Words Oct 26th, 2010 4 Pages
1. What was phlogiston? Based on what theoretical and experimental bases did Lavoisier reject it? (68)

Phlogiston is a substance that was once believed to be in all combustible materials. The phlogiston theory originated in Ancient Greek around 1667 by Johann Joachim Becher, a German physician who pursued alchemy. The purpose of this theory was to help explain why materials turned to ash after burning and why the break down of metals through rusting. The phlogiston theory states that flammable materials all contain two different substances called phlogiston and calx. During the process of burning the phlogiston would escape in the form of a gas into the air and the calx would be the leftover material also know as dephlogisticated
…show more content…
Many scientists during the mid-eighteen hundreds came up with the idea of the conservation of energy and it wasn’t till the early nineteenth century when scientist became interested in the relationships between the different forces of nature. The reason for their curiosity was to create a perpetual motion engine. Many designs were created and many clamed their device would work but none truly succeeded. Lazar Carnot decided to study the relationship between a water wheel and the amount of work it produced. His son, Sadi Carnot, interested in the productive motive force, began studying the steam engine. He believed that understanding the steam engine he would be able to better understand the heat engine giving him the ability to create a more efficient engine. After studying the steam engine he suggested that caloric were being transferred by means of the steam. This was an astonishing discovery because he believed that the caloric was conserved and not consumed just like the water in the water wheel his father studied. The water was not being consumed but just falling from one level to the next similar to the caloric it was just falling from one temperature to a lower temperature. The next discovery came for Hans Christian Oersted, who was a Danish physicist. He accidentally discovered that when a wire carrying a current of electricity was next
Open Document