Why you would take this class if you are interested in Chemistry?
In the 16th century, a total of 8 metals were known. The atomistic construction of matter was not really understood, with the exception of some emerging references to ideas of Democritus in the second half of that century.
The time period of the early mines is one in which the rather
academic pursuit of Natural Philosophy, mainly exercised through the study of
the antique masters such as Aristotle, had to develop into applied science,
following the demands and needs of mining industries. The 16th
Saigerhütte Olbernhau, analysis instruments and cupellation oven for the separation of silver and lead
Kevin Boyd in Winkler’s
You may also choose to visit Jachymov (Joachimsthal), in the Bohemian (Czech) Erzegibirge. Here Pierre and Marie Curie studied the radiation coming from pitchblende (uranium ore). From their analysis of the radiative decay, they were able to identify the elements radium and polonium, and then isolate these two elements.
And then, of course, there are the of minerals and ores, examples of compounds found in nature which often present themselves in spectacular fashion. Of particular interest is fluorite, which was first referred to by that name in a published work by Agricola (it was used as a flux, to help molten metals flow; most soldering fluxes still contain fluorides). This mineral later gave its name to both fluorine and the phenomenon of fluorescence (which we will observe in many minerals).
Mineralogical Collection of Bergakademie Freiberg; fluorite
The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author. The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota.