Wisniak (2004)

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Wisniak, Jaime. (2004) Phlogiston: The rise and fall of a theory. Indian Journal of Chemical Technology 11 (5), 732-743. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/9538.

Title Phlogiston: The rise and fall of a theory
Resource Type journal article
Author(s) Jaime Wisniak
Year 2004
URL http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/9538
Journal Indian Journal of Chemical Technology
Volume 11
Number 5
Pages 732-743


The phlogiston theory was born around 1700 and lasted for about one hundred years. It provided for the first time a unifying approach to widely different chemical and physical phenomena and as such was adopted by the most famous European scientists, particularly the French ones. Its demise came with Lavoisier’s new insights into the phenomena of chemical reactions in general and combustion in particular, as well as about the composition of air. Lavoisier’s results disproved the phlogiston theory and established the applicability of the principle of mass conservation to chemical reactions.