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The Méthode de nomenclature chimique, published by the Académie Royale des Sciences in 1787, is rightly praised as a landmark in the history of early modern chemistry. It is also – though less rightly – considered to be a fruit of Lavoisier’s Chemical Revolution. In fact, main features of the...
This essay elaborates on Ursula Klein’s methodological concept of “paper tools” by drawing on several examples from the history of the periodic table. Moving from John A. R. Newlands’s “Law of Octaves,” to Dmitrii Mendeleev’s first drafts of his periodic system in 1869, to Mendeleev’s chemical...
The emergence of physical organic chemistry, which focuses on the mechanisms and structures of organic reactions and molecules using the tools of physical chemistry, was a major development in twentieth-century chemistry. It first flourished in the interwar period, in the UK and then in the US....
In two books published in 1969 and 1973, the philosopher François Dagognet articulated a sharp contrast between the verbal and the visual in the history of chemical representation. Ursula Klein took up Dagognet’s argument as both inspiration and foil in her account of Berzelian formulas as...
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