History of chemistry

The history of chemistry represents a time span from ancient history to the present. By 1000 BC, civilizations used technologies that would eventually form the basis of the various branches of chemistry. Examples include the discovery of fire, extracting metals from ores, making pottery and glazes, fermenting beer and wine, extracting chemicals from plants for medicine and perfume, rendering fat into soap, making glass, and making alloys like bronze.

The 1871 periodic table constructed by Dmitri Mendeleev. The periodic table is one of the most potent icons in science, lying at the core of chemistry and embodying the most fundamental principles of the field.

The protoscience of chemistry, alchemy, was unsuccessful in explaining the nature of matter and its transformations. However, by performing experiments and recording the results, alchemists set the stage for modern chemistry. While both alchemy and chemistry are concerned with matter and its transformations, chemists are seen as applying scientific method to their work.

The history of chemistry is intertwined with the history of thermodynamics, especially through the work of Willard Gibbs.[1]

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