7 Annotations

First Reading

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/webproj…

"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."

alta turpis fossa or caput  •  Link

oil of vitriol : gleaned from the OED, choice pieces:
1684 tr. Bonet's Merc. Compit. I. 21 Comatous children are..cured by Vomitive Salt of Vitriol
c1386 CHAUCER Can. Yeom. Prol. & T. 255 Vnslekked lym, chalk,..Poudres diuerse, asshes,..Cered pottes, sal peter, vitriole.
1527 ANDREW Brunswyke's Distyll. Waters Fjb, Halfe an ounce of vytryol wherof the ynke is made.
1605 TIMME Quersit. I. ix. 37 Some of these salts are bytter as wormewood, some sharpe as vitriolls. 1656 J. SMITH Pract. Physick 6 They that drink of them purge forth black excrements by reason of the vitrials. 1728

known from 1790 Lavoisier's Elem. Chem
1. Chem. sulphuric acid, a highly corrosive oily fluid (hydrogen sulphate, H2SO4), also called oil of vitriol, in its pure state a dense liquid without colour or smell; prepared on a large scale for use in arts and trades by burning iron pyrites or sulphur and leading the fumes, together with oxides of nitrogen and air, over into chambers into which jets of steam are forced.

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.


Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


  • Jul


  • May