By Michael Allaby
'Atmosphere' tells the tale of the ambience sciences, starting with the popularity that air is a fabric substance - a mix of gases - and describes the unraveling of its chemical composition.
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Extra info for Atmosphere: A Scientific History of Air, Weather, and Climate (Discovering the Earth)
It was this that convinced Lavoisier that the phlogiston theory was incorrect. Marie-Anne had trained as an artist and drew sketches and prepared engravings of the laboratory and its equipment, and she edited and published Lavoisier’s notes and memoirs, including his influential Elementary Treatise on Chemistry (). Lavoisier’s father-in-law was a member of the Ferme Générale, and in Lavoisier became an associate and later a full member, one of the official tax collectors. The Ferme Générale was a private organization whose members were required to collect taxes and submit them to the government, each fermier being responsible for a particular region of the country.
The two became friends, maintained their friendship through correspondence, and Lavoisier learned much from Priestley, for whom he had the deepest respect. That affection made him very reluctant to disagree with Priestley over a matter that was central to Priestley’s scientific outlook, but, in 19 20 ATMOSPHERE the end, disagree he did. Lavoisier found the phlogiston theory was unsustainable and proved that it was wrong. According to the phlogiston theory, air containing phlogiston was unbreathable and candles would not burn in it, but animals could breathe dephlogisticated air and it supported combustion.
He kept careful notes of his work, but much of it remained unpublished during his lifetime. Long after his death the Scottish mathematician and physicist James Clerk Maxwell (–) went through Cavendish’s papers and found details of several discoveries that had been attributed to others. Henry Cavendish rarely appeared in public, and he communicated with his housekeeper mainly by leaving notes for her, usually telling her what he wanted for dinner. He had a valet, but female servants had to keep out of his sight.
Atmosphere: A Scientific History of Air, Weather, and Climate (Discovering the Earth) by Michael Allaby