CHEM 125a - Lecture 19 - Oxygen and the Chemical Revolution (Beginning to 1789)

Lecture 19 - Oxygen and the Chemical Revolution (Beginning to 1789)


This lecture begins a series describing the development of organic chemistry in chronological order, beginning with the father of modern chemistry, Lavoisier. The focus is to understand the logic of the development of modern theory, technique and nomenclature so as to use them more effectively. Chemistry begins before Lavoisier's "Chemical Revolution," with the practice of ancient technology and alchemy, and with discoveries like those of Scheele, the Swedish apothecary who discovered oxygen and prepared the first pure samples of organic acids. Lavoisier's Traité Élémentaire de Chimie launched modern chemistry with its focus on facts, ideas, and words. Lavoisier weighed gases and measured heat with a calorimeter, as well as clarifying language and chemical thinking. His key concepts were conservation of mass for the elements and oxidation, a process in which reaction with oxygen could make a "radical" or "base" into an acid.


Professor McBride's website resource for CHEM 125 (Fall 2008)

This website may include third-party materials pertaining to relevant topics, provided for the user's convenience. Yale does not control or take responsibility for the content of any off-site pages or linked sites.


Reading assignments, problem sets, PowerPoint presentations, and other resources for this lecture can be accessed from Professor McBride's on-campus course website, which was developed for his Fall 2008 students. Please see Resources section below.

Course Media





Low Bandwidth Video

mov [100MB]

High Bandwidth Video

mov [500MB]