The inadequacies of the old theories of the four elements and the three principles had been highlighted by Robert Boyle (Chapter 3). These theories had attempted to explain the composition of matter, but they could only account for chemical change in the vaguest terms. Boyle’s corpuscular theory explained chemical change in terms of a rearrangement of particles, but it was of no use in systematising the chemistry of the day. Many workers had their own versions of the older theories, and it was the ideas of Johann Joachim Becher (1635–1682) that formed the basis for the formulation of the first comprehensive theory of chemistry.
KeywordsEighteenth Century Silicon Tetrafluoride Soda Water Caustic Potash Phlogiston Theory
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