Le problème de l'affinité chimique et l'atomistique: étude du rapprochement actuel de la physique et de la chimie

    Abstract

    THE author of this very interesting essay has JL dealt with the theme of chemical affinity in its relation to physical theories from the early period to the present day. His treatment is historical and critical, and the main conclusion which he reaches is that the problems of chemical combination grouped together under the concept ‘affinity’ have always proved, and are for some time likely to prove, much too complex and specific to allow of any explanation by prevailing physical theory which will prove at all satisfying to the chemist. He begins his historical account by the statement that “the notion of affinity was introduced into science in 1733 by Boerhaave”, whereas it is well known that the name was used by Albertus Magnus, and that very detailed investigations on elective affinity were published by Mayow in 1674, based on earlier quite definite and clearly expressed opinions of Boyle. These ideas, carried further by Stahl (whose results seem to be incorporated, without acknowledgment, by Newton in his “Opticks”), were summarised in the Affinity Tables of Bergman. The first attempt to explain the results on the prevailing physical theory made use of mechanical conceptions, since mechanics was then the senior branch of theoretical physics. Newtonian attractions were introduced, and when the researches of Berthollet had removed the foundation of Bergman's theory, their author could still make appeal to the mechanical attractions between the particles to account for the action of mass.

    Le problème de l'affinité chimique et l'atomistique: étude du rapprochement actuel de la physique et de la chimie.

    Prof. Charles Brunold. Pp. v + 118. (Paris: Masson et Cie, 1930.) 20 francs.

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    Le problème de l'affinité chimique et l'atomistique: étude du rapprochement actuel de la physique et de la chimie . Nature 127, 300–301 (1931). https://doi.org/10.1038/127300a0

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