TerryF • Link
In 1661 Robert Boyle published ‘The Skeptical Chymist’, “in which he showed that old teachings should not be blindly accepted, and whose work included describing how gases are atoms with lots of empty space between them, accounting for their compressibility.” http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/webprojects2002/farmer/…
"The concept of compound is probably as old as the concept of 'element'. Robert Boyle, the key figure in the transition from alchemy to chemistry, was one of the first to try to distinguish 'compounds' from other types of matter. In the *Sceptical Chymist* (1661), Boyle refers to chemical compounds as 'perfectly mixt' elements. The term 'perfectly mixt' was meant to distinguish compounds from 'imperfect' mechanical mixtures. Boyle was familiar with atomism and believed that compounds involved chemical combination of atoms, an idea adopted by John Dalton about 150 years later:
There are Clusters wherein the Particles stick not so close together, but that they may meet with Corpuscles of another Denomination, which are dispos'd to be more closely United with some of them, than they were among themselves.[Boyle]
"Boyle's 'perfectly mixt bodies' classification did not distinguish true compounds from homogeneous mixtures that were difficult to separate."
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