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19. Oxygen and the Chemical Revolution (Beginning to 1789)

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Uploaded on Sep 18, 2009

Freshman Organic Chemistry (CHEM 125)

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 the development of modern theory, technique and nomenclature so as to use them more effectively. Chemistry begins before Lavoisier's "Chemical Revolution," with the practice of ancient technology and alchemy, and with discoveries like those of Scheele, the Swedish apothecary who discovered oxygen and prepared the first pure samples of organic acids. Lavoisier's Traité Élémentaire de Chimie launched modern chemistry with its focus on facts, ideas, and words. Lavoisier weighed gases and measured heat with a calorimeter, as well as clarifying language and chemical thinking. His key concepts were conservation of mass for the elements and oxidation, a process in which reaction with oxygen could make a "radical" or "base" into an acid.

00:00 - Chapter 1. The Predecessors of Chemists: Alchemists
08:50 - Chapter 2. Scheele's Acids and Elements
19:58 - Chapter 3. On Radicals, Lavoisier, and the Chemical Revolution
29:54 - Chapter 4. The Elementary Treatise of Chemistry: Facts, Ideas, and Words
36:51 - Chapter 5. New Nomenclature: Elements, Calories, and Radicals

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Fall 2008.

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