1. Introduction and basic guide

When was chemistry “discovered”?

Very simple chemical processes were performed even during ancient history, at 1000 BC, much before any basic chemistry concepts or laws were actually established. Extraction of metals from ore or getting compounds out of natural sources such as plants, are examples of chemistry that was first performed thousands of years ago and are still a thing today.

Alchemy is what we call the “protoscience” of chemistry.

from alchemy to chemistry
The Alchemist in Search of the Philosopher’s Stone, by Joseph Wright (1771)

Alchemy tried to explain the nature, properties and transformations of matter. But it was not science, but rather a set of myths and magic. It is agreed upon that, the transition from alchemy to modern chemistry as we know it, started on the 17th century, with the publication of The Sceptical Chymist by Robert Boyle (1661), who is considered the father of modern chemistry. The difference between chemistry and alchemy is the application of the scientific method.

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