Blackie’s Dictionary Of Chemistry by Blackie
An important point to remember is that chemistry is a science, which means its procedures are systematic and reproducible and its hypotheses are tested using the scientific method. Chemists, scientists who study chemistry, examine the properties and composition of matter and the interactions between substances. Chemistry is closely related to physics and to biology. As is true for other sciences, mathematics is an essential tool for the study of chemistry.
An important milestone was the theory of conservation of mass, developed by Antoine Lavoisier in 1783. The law of conservation of mass holds that no mass is created or destroyed in a chemical reaction – if you burn a log in an enclosed container, the container will weigh exactly as much as it did prior to the reaction, only it will have changed to ash. Because of his efforts in popularizing chemistry and making it more accessible to the common person, Lavoisier is often regarded as the father of modern chemistry.
Another huge milestone in the development of chemistry was the formulation of the atomic theory, by John Dalton around 1800. Atomic theory holds that substances are made of small individual units called atoms which link together through atomic bonds. An aggregation of bonded atoms is called a molecule. Atoms and molecules make up almost everything that we can see, and interact intimately with energy, often in the form of electromagnetic radiation. It was soon realized that electromagnetic radiation can be released when the electrons in an atom transition to a lower energy state.
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