Joseph Black

British chemist
Joseph Black.

Joseph Black (16 April 1728 – 6 December 1799) was a Scottish physician and chemist, known for his discoveries of latent heat, specific heat, and carbon dioxide.

Quotes about BlackEdit

  • The quantitative investigations of Black on the burning of lime and magnesia alba, in which the balance (previously characterized by the French chemist Jean Rey as "an instrument for clowns") was applied at every turn, led to the rejection of a hypothetical "principle of causticity," and replaced it by a "sensible ingredient of a sensible body," fixed air.
  • He had discovered that a cubic inch of marble consisted of about half its weight of pure lime, and as much air as would fill a vessel holding six wine gallons. … What could be more singular than to find so subtle a substance as air existing in the form of a hard stone, and its presence accompanied by such a change in the properties of that stone? … It is surely a dull mind that will not be animated by such a prospect.
    • John Robison, in the preface to Joseph Black, Lectures on the Elements of Chemistry, Mundell and Son, Edinburgh, UK, 1803. Vol. 1, p. xxvi-xxix.

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