411 results match your criteria Ambix[Journal]


John Dalton's "Aha" Moment: the Origin of the Chemical Atomic Theory.

Authors:
Mark I Grossman

Ambix 2021 Feb;68(1):49-71

Independent Researcher, Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA.

In his only known historical sketch addressing the origin of the chemical atomic theory, John Dalton stated that different atoms have different sizes, a conclusion which led him to an investigation of combining number of atoms and relative weights. Although he stated the idea occurred to him in 1805, his laboratory notes show he developed the first table of atomic weights in 1803. Historians over the years have provided conflicting narratives to explain the different dates. Read More

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February 2021

A Woman's Life Alongside Chemistry:The Memoirs of Theresa Kopp Baumann.

Authors:
Alan J Rocke

Ambix 2021 Feb;68(1):1-27

Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

As her second and third names suggest, Theresa Kopp Baumann (1856-1944) was the daughter and subsequently the wife of eminent German academic chemists. Her substantial unpublished autobiography, written ca. 1910 and presented here in English translation in an edited and considerably abridged form, provides unique insight from a privileged female perspective into the socio-cultural aspects of German academic science in its period of greatest international reputation and influence. Read More

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February 2021

Lead Poisoning in France around 1840: Managing Proofs and Uncertainties in Laboratories, Courtrooms, and Workplaces.

Ambix 2021 Feb 29;68(1):72-96. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Institut Interuniversitari López Piñero, Universitat de València, Spain.

This article reviews one of the most famous cases of lead poisoning in France, the Ponchon affair, which occurred in 1843 during a crucial period for French toxicology. The trial attracted public attention and inflamed controversy among medical and legal experts. The debate involved toxicological methods and their reliability, and gave rise to more general questions about the value of expert evidence, the way it was presented in court, and its relationship to other forms of legal evidence. Read More

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February 2021

Morphine Dreams: Auguste Laurent and the Active Principles of Organised Matter.

Authors:
Theresa Levitt

Ambix 2021 Feb 29;68(1):97-115. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS, USA.

Auguste Laurent began his work on morphine, nicotine, and other intoxicating alkaloids hopeful that he could reproduce them artificially from the byproducts of coal tar. After successfully creating artificial alkaloids, he collaborated with Jean-Baptiste Biot to determine that while plant-derived alkaloids were optically active, his artificial ones were not, further establishing a link between the action of molecules upon polarised light and their action upon the animal economy, and a firm line between natural and artificial products later taken up in the work of Louis Pasteur. This paper places this work in the context of a long tradition in which chemists, naturalists, and pharmacists variously used "active principles" to refer both to the particular living nature of substances, and to their ability to act on the human body. Read More

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February 2021

Alchemical Promise, the Fraud Narrative, and the History of Science from Below: A German Adept's Encounter with Robert Boyle and Ambrose Godfrey.

Authors:
Mike A Zuber

Ambix 2021 Feb 1;68(1):28-48. Epub 2020 Dec 1.

Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Until now, the only known source on a curious incident in Robert Boyle's life was the account of his laboratory assistant Ambrose Godfrey regarding one anonymous "Crosey-Crucian." It survives only in excerpts and paraphrases published in 1858. Based on the recent identification of this adept as Peter Moritz, a German alchemist and religious dissenter, this paper presents his own perspective as expressed in an epistolary document originally addressed to Boyle. Read More

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February 2021

The Curious Story of the Chemical Society's Missing Obituary of John Lloyd Bullock.

Authors:
William H Brock

Ambix 2020 Nov 15;67(4):389-399. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

Eastbourne, UK.

The pharmaceutical and manufacturing chemist John Lloyd Bullock, who had joined the Chemical Society in 1842 and who played a fundamental role in the creation of the Royal College of Chemistry in 1845, did not receive an obituary when he died in 1905. Yet, nine years later on the eve of WW1, the Council of the Chemical Society suddenly commissioned an obituary from two German chemists. Although the curious circumstances of this omission and commission cannot be fully explained, their investigation provides an opportunity for an appraisal of Bullock's role in the history of chemistry and pharmacy. Read More

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November 2020

Materials, Furnaces, and Texts: How to Write About Making Glass Colours in the Seventeenth Century.

Ambix 2020 Nov 12;67(4):323-345. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

Utrecht University, The Netherlands.

Johann Kunckel's (1679) is arguably the most important text on seventeenth-century glassmaking. As an augmented German translation of Italian (1612) and English (1662) editions, Kunckel presented a complex and layered text that contained a plethora of recipes, elaborate commentaries and annotations, and various appendices dealing with glass-related technologies and arts. We reworked four recipes for rosichiero glass (a transparent red glass) in Kunckel's book to discover what strategies Kunckel employed to help readers engage with the recipes and to make the recipes work in the specificity of their own workshop. Read More

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November 2020

Chemical Paradigm vs. Biological Paradigm in the Biological Clock Controversy.

Authors:
Jole Shackelford

Ambix 2020 Nov 12;67(4):366-388. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States.

Examples of biological rhythmicity mounted in the first half of the twentieth century, but the nature of biological rhythms - whether they were direct responses to rhythmic environmental stimuli or generated internally by biological clocks or oscillators - remained sharply disputed. When Frank A. Brown Jr. Read More

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November 2020

Apprehensions to Alchemy in Colonial New England.

Ambix 2020 Nov 8;67(4):346-365. Epub 2020 Oct 8.

University of Groningen, The Netherlands.

While recent historical studies have uncovered the intercontinental reputations of New England alchemists, much still remains to be known about actual attitudes concerning alchemy in the early colonies. Focusing on a corpus of roughly a dozen untranslated, and all but entirely unexamined Latin orations (ca. 200 pages) composed by Harvard College's presidents and students in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century, I argue that these new sources reveal the ambivalent, occasionally antagonistic attitude that educated New England men held towards the art of alchemy. Read More

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November 2020

Consultancy as a Career in Late Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Britain.

Ambix 2020 Aug;67(3):214-233

The Open University, UK.

This paper examines the continuing role of consultants within the profession of chemistry in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Consultants were a prominent part of the profession in the late nineteenth century, but were overtaken in numerical terms by chemists working in academia, government and industry in the first half of the twentieth century. The paper demonstrates, however, that numbers later stabilised and then goes on to examine the characteristics of those chemists who worked as consultants as compared to the wider chemical community. Read More

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A Life of "Continuous and Honourable Usefulness:" Chemical Consulting and the Career of Robert Warington (1807-1867).

Authors:
Anna Simmons

Ambix 2020 Aug 27;67(3):234-251. Epub 2020 Jul 27.

UCL, UK.

Robert Warington (1807-1867) was a central figure in the mid-nineteenth century chemical community, notably through his role in the foundation of the Chemical Society of London in 1841. As demand for chemical services grew, Warington constructed an ultimately lucrative career in chemistry in which consulting played a major part. His formative years laid ideal foundations for establishing himself as a consultant, whilst his appointment as chemical operator to the Society of Apothecaries' pharmaceutical trade provided the status and infrastructure to sustain this activity. Read More

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Chemistry, Consultants, and Companies, c. 1850-2000: Introduction.

Ambix 2020 08 24;67(3):207-213. Epub 2020 Jul 24.

Independent Researcher (USA).

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Imperial Chemical Industries and Craig Jordan, "the First Tamoxifen Consultant," 1960s-1990s.

Authors:
Viviane Quirke

Ambix 2020 Aug 24;67(3):289-307. Epub 2020 Jul 24.

Oxford Brookes University, UK.

This paper examines the relationship between Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), the company that discovered tamoxifen, and Dr Craig Jordan, who played a major part in its success as a breast cancer drug, and who worked as a consultant for the company, but without ever being paid a consultancy fee. Instead, ICI funded junior staff working in his laboratory on topics of his choice. They later paid his expenses as an expert witness in patent-litigation cases, as a result of which the US became a major lucrative market for tamoxifen, and ICI's other anti-cancer drugs. Read More

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Fluid Careers and Cold War Boundaries.

Authors:
Robert Bud

Ambix 2020 08 24;67(3):308-312. Epub 2020 Jul 24.

The Science Museum, London.

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The Chemistry Professor as Consultant at the Norwegian Institute of Technology, 1910-1930.

Authors:
Annette Lykknes

Ambix 2020 Aug 23;67(3):271-288. Epub 2020 Jul 23.

NTNU-Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway.

The Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTH) was established in Trondheim in 1910, shortly after the country had gained its independence from Sweden. The establishment of NTH coincided with the beginning of large-scale industry in Norway, and expectations were high as to what the Institute could contribute in terms of competence to establish new industries. Its professors were expected to be not just teachers or academics, but also to be involved in projects with industry. Read More

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George E. Davis (1850-1907): Transition From Consultant Chemist to Consultant Chemical Engineer in a Period of Economic Pressure.

Authors:
Peter Reed

Ambix 2020 Aug 20;67(3):252-270. Epub 2020 Jul 20.

Independent Researcher, USA.

This article explores how George Davis's vision for chemical engineering was contingent upon both the national economic conditions of the period (1870-1900) and the critical transition to more economic production for chemical manufacture. Trade tariffs and international competition exacerbated an already challenging economic climate and stricter government regulation of pollution from chemical manufactories added further pressure. Sectors of the British chemical industry faced over-capacity and over-production, while most sectors were wasteful of materials and energy and were over-manned. Read More

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An Alchemist in Greenland: Hans Egede (1686-1758) and Alchemical Practice in the Colony of Hope.

Authors:
Hilde Norrgrén

Ambix 2020 May 22;67(2):153-173. Epub 2020 Apr 22.

Oslo University, Norway.

The article explores the practical and social circumstances of the alchemical experiments performed by the Norwegian priest and missionary Hans Egede (1686-1758) in the Colony of Hope in Greenland. Sources not previously used in connection with Egede's alchemy are used to investigate in which ways his situation in the colony affected alchemical practice. A lack of fuel is found to have been a main obstacle which may have limited the number of experiments that Egede was able to perform in Greenland. Read More

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Values in the Development of Early Periodic Tables.

Ambix 2020 May 15;67(2):174-198. Epub 2020 Apr 15.

KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.

Julius Lothar Meyer, John Newlands, and Dmitrii Mendeleev were amongst the discoverers of the periodic system of the elements. Although their systems are similar enough to be recognised as the precursors for the modern periodic system, they were also different. Here, I argue that many of their differences can be explained in terms of how the chemists emphasised different values in the process of developing their systems. Read More

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A Matter of Philosophers and Spheres: Medieval Glosses on Artephius's .

Authors:
Nicola Polloni

Ambix 2020 May 14;67(2):135-152. Epub 2020 Apr 14.

Institut für Philosophie, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

The article examines the two Latin versions of Artephius's () that have been preserved in early modern collections of alchemical texts. A comparative analysis of the two versions shows that one of them has undergone a process of textual manipulation. In particular, an interpolation of short philosophical passages concerning the doctrine of prime matter has relevant interpretative implications. Read More

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Alchemy and Chemical Medicines in Early Colonial Lima, Peru.

Authors:
Linda A Newson

Ambix 2020 May 14;67(2):107-134. Epub 2020 Apr 14.

School of Advanced Study, Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London, London, UK.

The article explores the use of minerals and the nature of chemical methods employed in Lima in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. It does so through examining the availability of mineral resources, including pre-European knowledge of their use, through surveying the books and equipment used by physicians and apothecaries, and finally by examining prescriptions for medicines that were used to treat patients. It concludes that minerals were probably more commonly employed in medicines in Lima than in Spain but suggests that their preparation and use at this time drew on Spain's alchemical tradition rather than on writings by Paracelsus and his followers. Read More

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Real or Fake? New Light on the Paracelsian .

Ambix 2020 Feb;67(1):4-29

University of Zurich, Switzerland.

So far it has never been clearly decided whether the treatise constitutes an authentic work by the physician and natural philosopher Theophrastus Bombast of Hohenheim, called Paracelsus (1493/94-1541) This article outlines the manuscript and printing traditions of , in which a recently discovered manuscript from 1571 is identified as the earliest source. The watermarks of this manuscript refer to the Tyrolean Inn Valley, where great alchemical expertise was available due to silver mining. A detailed examination of the content and style of the preface and the nine chapters indicates the involvement of at least three different authors. Read More

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February 2020

Paracelsus, a Transmutational Alchemist.

Authors:
Andrew Sparling

Ambix 2020 Feb;67(1):62-87

Independent scholar.

A scholarly consensus has long held that in redefining alchemy, Paracelsus rejected metallic transmutation. I show here, however, that for most of his career Paracelsus believed that it was possible to change one metal into another, and even late in his short life he did not break with that view. Furthermore, in certain places in his works he also represented himself, occasionally directly and more often obliquely, as a practical transmutationist. Read More

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February 2020

The Homunculus and the Paracelsian .

Authors:
Amadeo Murase

Ambix 2020 Feb;67(1):47-61

European-American Culture Department, Seigakuin University, Saitama, Japan.

As William R. Newman has already shown, the alchemical homunculus described in the pseudo-Paracelsian writing was not the only kind of "homunculus" present in the works of (or attributed to) Paracelsus. Two other important kinds of "homunculi" indeed appeared in other treatises: one in and the other in both and the . Read More

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February 2020

Bad Chemistry: Basilisks and Women in Paracelsus and pseudo-Paracelsus.

Authors:
William R Newman

Ambix 2020 Feb;67(1):30-46

Indiana University, USA.

The basilisk of the pseudo-Paracelsian is the evil twin of the homunculus. Created from menstrual blood by artificial ectogenesis in an alchemical laboratory, the basilisk embodies the poisonous character traditionally ascribed to catamenial women, but magnified and concentrated by its mode of generation to the degree that it can kill by its glance alone. How does this remarkable thought experiment relate to other instances of the basilisk in the genuine and pseudonymous corpus of Paracelsus? The present paper outlines two primary uses which emerge repeatedly: first, in works other than the basilisk is used by Paracelsus and his imitators as a means of explaining action at a distance, especially in the case of plague. Read More

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February 2020

Cross and Crucible: Alchemy in the Theology of Paracelsus.

Ambix 2020 Feb 24;67(1):88-99. Epub 2020 Feb 24.

University of Zurich, Switzerland.

Paracelsus was not only a reformer of medicine with a preference for medical alchemy, but also emerged as a radical church reformer. However, he only rarely used the imagery of alchemy as a parable for theological salvation. Fire as the driving force for every alchemical process was also suitable as an image for the purification of souls. Read More

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February 2020

Paracelsus, Forgeries and Transmutation: Introduction.

Ambix 2020 02 24;67(1):1-3. Epub 2020 Feb 24.

The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies, Columbia University, New York, USA.

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February 2020

Humphry Davy's Early Chemical Knowledge, Theory and Experiments: An Edition of His 1798 Manuscript, "An Essay on Heat and the Combinations of Light" from The Royal Institution of Cornwall, Courtney Library, MS DVY/2.

Ambix 2019 Nov 10;66(4):303-345. Epub 2019 Nov 10.

University College London, UK.

This paper publishes, for the first time, Humphry Davy's June 1798 "An Essay on Heat and the Combinations of Light" written in Penzance. It is the manuscript that he sent to Thomas Beddoes which secured for him the position of Superintendent of the Medical Pneumatic Institution in Bristol while aged only nineteen. It is thus a crucial document that increases our understanding about how Davy made that move from Cornwall to Bristol, without which it is highly unlikely that he would have followed the spectacular career trajectory that he did. Read More

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November 2019

Lothar Meyer's Pathway to Periodicity.

Authors:
Alan J Rocke

Ambix 2019 Nov 23;66(4):265-302. Epub 2019 Oct 23.

Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA.

Without dwelling on issues of priority regarding the discovery of the periodic system of the elements, this study offers a connected narrative regarding Lothar Meyer's investigative pathway from the spring and summer of 1856 until the end of 1869, in his gradually deepening understanding of periodic relationships among the elements. Dmitrii Mendeleev's route to periodicity has been the subject of extensive investigation and debate; by contrast, there is nothing in the literature that takes a similarly detailed look at Lothar Meyer's personal pathway to the periodic system. This study strives toward a deeper understanding of the history of the discovery of the archetypical symbol of chemistry as a whole, the periodic table; it concludes by offering a wider object lesson. Read More

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November 2019

New Studies on Humphry Davy: Introduction.

Ambix 2019 May-Aug;66(2-3):95-102. Epub 2019 Jun 13.

c Lancaster University , England.

This special issue of brings together eight new studies on Humphry Davy together with an appreciation of the life and work of David Knight, much of whose scholarship was devoted to understanding Davy. Taken together they provide a much richer and more nuanced account of aspects of Davy's life, showing how he and his work fitted into the very complex and difficult social, cultural and political contexts of the opening decades of the nineteenth century. Taking as our starting point Thomas Carlyle's 1829 critique of modern science, in this introduction we weld together the themes that emerge from these papers, many of which ground their results in the project to publish Davy's . Read More

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Sources and Resources for Davy: 1960 and Now.

Authors:
David Knight

Ambix 2019 May-Aug;66(2-3):239-245. Epub 2019 Jun 6.

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