History of Chemistry

Classical Era to Modern Chemistry

Since the start of recorded history, we have been trying to understand the World around us. The link below shows a summary of the history of Science:-

Timeline of Science

Key points in the history of Chemistry include:-

~ 5500 BCE

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First evidence of metals (Copper, Tin and Lead) being extracted from rocks by heating them in a fire.

~ 1200 BCE

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First evidence of Iron being extracted from rocks by heating them in a kiln.

~ 400 BCE

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The ancient Greeks decide that all materials are made of four Elements - Earth, Air, Fire and Water. They use different combinations of these to explain all other materials. The ancient Greeks also decide that all matter is made of tiny, unbreakable "atoms"

~ 1200 CE

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European Alchemists focus on changing base metals (such as Lead) to Gold and the elixir of life blending magic and science, but their work marks the start of modern Chemistry. From this point on, Roger Bacon's methods of experimental work (the Scientific Method) are used to make more and more scientific discoveries.

1869 CE

A Russian chemist, Dmitri Mendeleev, creates his Periodic Table. The Periodic Table listed all the known chemical Elements by their properties and Mass, and even predicted unknown Elements! The Periodic Table is the key to the modern understanding of Chemistry.

The video below shows a documentary by the Physicist Jim Al-Khalili covering the history of Chemistry:-