Knight, D. M. (2003) 'Exalting understanding without depressing imagination : depicting chemical process.', Hyle., 9 (2). pp. 171-189.
Alchemists’ illustrations indicated through symbols the processes being attempted; but with Lavoisier’s Elements (1789), the place of imagination and symbolic language in chemistry was much reduced. He sought to make chemistry akin to algebra and its illustrations merely careful depictions of apparatus. Although younger contemporaries sought, and found in electrochemistry, a dynamical approach based upon forces rather than weights, they found this very difficult to picture. Nevertheless, by looking at chemical illustrations in the eighty years after Lavoisier’s revolutionary book, we can learn about how reactions were carried out, and interpreted, and see that there was scope for aesthetic judgement and imagination.
|Keywords:||Visualization of chemical process, Chemical manipulation, Laboratory apparatus, Textbook illustrations.|
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|Publisher Web site:||http://www.hyle.org/journal/issues/9-2/knight.htm|
|Record Created:||10 Apr 2007|
|Last Modified:||08 Apr 2009 16:29|
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