Antoine Laurent Lavoisier's Memoir On Combustion In General

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Summary of Lavoisier’s Memoir on Combustion in General
Antoine Laurent Lavoisier was an 18th century French chemist who worked as a member of the the French Academy of Sciences. In the excerpts of Lavoisier’s Memoir on Combustion in General, he introduces to the other members of the Academy his idea of oxygen and its role in how combustion and calcination occurs. He also explains why the original theory of phlogiston, proposed by Georg Ernst Stahl, is not adequate to explain the two phenomenas.
Lavoisier first explained his theory by briefly stating laws concerning combustion as well as calcination of metals. He says that these laws are included in Stahl’s phlogiston theory but Lavoisier points out some aspects of it that don’t offer adequate
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Calcination, according to Lavoisier, calcination occurs when the base of pure air has a weak bond with the dissolvent and a stronger bond with the metal. After the base combines with the metal, they melt, and then it creates a fire as well as the residual material that’s called a metallic calx. This interaction results in two things: the metallic calx is heavier than its initial form because the base enters the material during the interaction, which opposes Stahl’s view that some of the material is lost when combustion occurs; and the air becomes more impure. Lavoisier claimed, based on this example, the faster the reaction of calcination, the more the base of the air becomes phlogisticated, which will then release more of the matter of fire; ultimately causing a stronger combustion.
Beside the concerns of combustion and calcination, Lavoisier claimed that the matter of fire played a great role in explaining the states of gases, liquids and solids. He suggested that whether something is a gas, liquid, or solid depended on the amount of the matter of fire that could affiliate with it. He concluded that liquids and vapors/gases had much more of the matter of fire while those in the solid state contained very little of it or none at all. Therefore, in order for a material to catch fire, pure air must be present since the matter of fire within it contributes to the formation of a
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Besides the fact that they both used the same laws of nature for combustion and calcination, both seemed to approach their explanations in a theoretical sort by basing their separate hypotheses off of their own pure observations. To me, Lavoisier’s theory seems similar in some ways to contemporary science due to some aspects closely parallelling the ones that are accepted today. For example, the amount of the matter of fire accounting for different states of gases, liquids, and solids is very similar to the idea of how the formation of atoms of a material substance determines their state since atoms, too, are forces of energy which are within everything anywhere in the world. Even though there were some parts that are like contemporary chemistry, the ideas of Lavoisier evidently stray from the theories accepted to this day in modern

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