Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Scheele and Oxygen :: essays research papers

Oxygen Vital to life, a necessity to combustion, and the component of innumerable compounds, oxygen is by far one of the most important elements. Astoundingly, Oxygen makes up a fifth of our atmosphere, 49.5% of all compounds on Earth contain oxygen, makes up about 2/3 of our body, yet human kind has only know of it since 1977 (http://pearl1.lanl.gov/periodic/elements/8.html). Ironically, within a period of a couple of years, three different men had stumbled upon the vital element. Carl Wilhelm Scheele, a Swede, made the initial discovery. However, Joseph Priestly, the man generally attributed with the discovery on the basis of his works being published first, discovered it in 1774. Neither of them quite understood it though, and only a French man by the name of Antoine Lavoisier who would be the first to fully understand it and disprove the old à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…“phlogistonà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬? notion (Priestly Joseph 4). Nonetheless, Carl Wilhelm Scheele was still the first to discover oxygen, a disc overy that would be one of many in a rich life. William Scheeleà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s life was one of humble beginnings. Born on December 19, 1742 he was one of a pack of 11 children. His formal training or education in science was of the bare minimum. By the age of fourteen, a firm by the name of Martin Anders Bauch in Gothenburg had accepted him as an apprentice as a pharmacist. This initial access to various chemicals, compounds, and books gave Wilhelm Scheele just he start he needed for beginning his career into chemistry. When the firm changed hands, Carl Wilhelm Scheele took a job with another company name KjellstrÃÆ' ¶m where, once again, he was provided the mean and permission to experiment. Scheele once again changed positions and moved to Stockholm where he continued in a pharmacy. Here his first discoveries were made (http://mattson.creighton.edu/History_Gas_Chemistry/Scheele.html). In 1769 with the help of a man named Anders John Retzius, Scheele isolated tartaric acid, a substance used on lenses, from cream of tartar (Tartaric Acid 1). Scheele made his big break however in 1770. Through various methods, Scheele was able to isolate oxygen. His discovery of à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã…“Fire Airà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬? precipitated numerous awards including a membership to the Royal Academy of Sciences, a position never before, and not even to present day to be given to a pharmacist (http://mattson.creighton.edu/History_Gas_Chemistry/Scheele.html). His home town, in an effort to keep him, also found him a place to set up his pharmacy.

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