Traité Élémentaire de Chimie

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Traité élémentaire de chimie
Traité élémentaire de chimie - Lavoisier - Tom. I Pl. IV Fig. 2.jpg
A diagram from the book.
Author Antoine Lavoisier
Translator Robert Kerr
Country France
Language French
Genre Textbook
Science
Publication date
1789
Published in English
1790
Traité élémentaire de chimie

Traité élémentaire de chimie (Elementary Treatise of Chemistry) is an influential textbook written by Antoine Lavoisier published in 1789 and translated into English by Robert Kerr in 1790 under the title Elements of Chemistry in a New Systematic Order containing All the Modern Discoveries.[1][2]

This book is considered to be the first modern chemical textbook.[3]

The book defines an element as a single substance that can't be broken down by chemical analysis and from which all chemical compounds are formed, publishing his discovery that fermentation produces carbon dioxide (carbonic gas) and spirit of wine, saying that it is "more appropriately called by the Arabic word alcohol since it is formed from cider or fermented sugar as well as wine", and publishing the first chemical equation "grape must = carbonic acid + alcohol", calling this reaction "one of the most extraordinary in chemistry", noting "In these experiments, we have to assume that there is a true balance or equation between the elements of the compounds with which we start and those obtained at the end of the reaction."[4]

The book contains a list of elements, which included oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, phosphorus, mercury, zinc, and sulfur, forming the basis for the modern list of elements. His list, however, also included light and caloric, which he believed to be material substances but are not elements.

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