Celebrating 22 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

107

Stories About Chemistry

INDEX


With Its Eyes
76. A Word on the Use of Analysis

Mikhailo Lomonosov once said: “Chemistry stretches wide its arms...” Two hundred odd years ago his ingenuity sensed the significance of this science for future generations.

The twentieth century has brought this out vividly. Chemistry is now a “many-armed creature.” Not every academician can even enumerate all its branches right on the spot. And new ones keep appearing almost every year.

But there is one thing without which any of these chemical “arms” would hang lifeless.

That thing is chemical analysis.

It has helped chemists to discover very many of the elements existing on Earth.

It has enabled them to establish the constituent parts of chemical compounds, both simple and complex, from table salt to proteins.

It has deciphered the compositions of rocks and minerals and has helped geochemists to account scrupulously the Earth’s reserves of chemical elements.

Chemistry owes much to analysis, in particular, its becoming an exact science. Analysis is the first helper in various spheres of human activity, as is seen from an untold number of examples.

For instance, suppose iron is being smelted from its ore in a blast furnace. Its properties depend largely on the amount of carbon in the resulting metal. If there is more than 1.7 per cent carbon in it, we get cast iron; the interval from 1.7 to 0.2 per cent represents various grades of steel, and if the metal contains less than 0.2 per cent carbon it is called wrought iron.

What is the difference between iron and steel, brass and bronze? How much copper is there in blue vitriol? Is there much potassium in the mineral carnallite? Only chemical analysis supplies the answers to these and similar questions. Two main questions confront it: what elements are contained in the substance under investigation, and in what proportion? The former is the scope of qualitative, and the latter, of quantitative analysis.

As to how many different kinds of analyses there are, no one, not even an experienced specialist, can say right off the bat.


< back     next >

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton


by Ian Ellis
who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.