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Encyclopedia > Carl Wilhelm Scheele
Carl Wilhelm Scheele
Scheele's house with his pharmacy in Köping.

Carl Wilhelm Scheele (December 9, 1742May 21, 1786) was a German-Swedish pharmaceutical chemist, born in Stralsund, Western Pomerania, Germany (at the time under Swedish rule). He was the discoverer of many chemical substances, most notably discovering oxygen (although Joseph Priestley published his findings first), molybdenum and chlorine before Humphry Davy. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (588x692, 702 KB) Chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele from Svenska Familj-Journalen 1874. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (588x692, 702 KB) Chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele from Svenska Familj-Journalen 1874. ... Image File history File links Scheeles_apotek_och_bostad_i_Köping. ... Image File history File links Scheeles_apotek_och_bostad_i_Köping. ... Köping Municipality is a Municipality in Västmanland County, in central Sweden where Köping is the seat. ... is the 343rd day of the year (344th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... // Events January 24 - Charles VII Albert becomes Holy Roman Emperor. ... is the 141st day of the year (142nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1786 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Stralsund is a city in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany. ... Pommern redirects here. ... This article is about the chemical element and its most stable form, or dioxygen. ... Priestley by Ellen Sharples (1794)[1] Joseph Priestley (March 13, 1733 (old style) – February 8, 1804) was an eighteenth-century British natural philosopher, Dissenting clergyman, political theorist, theologian, and educator. ... General Name, Symbol, Number molybdenum, Mo, 42 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 6, 5, d Appearance gray metallic Standard atomic weight 95. ... General Name, symbol, number chlorine, Cl, 17 Chemical series nonmetals Group, period, block 17, 3, p Appearance yellowish green Standard atomic weight 35. ... Sir Humphry Davy, 1st Baronet FRS (17 December 1778 – 29 May 1829) was a British chemist and physicist. ...

Contents

Biography

Instead of becoming a carpenter like his father, Scheele decided to become a pharmacist. His career as a pharmacist began with his apprenticeship at an apothecary in Gothenburg when he was only fourteen years old. He retained this position for eight years before becoming an apothecary's clerk in Malmö. Then Scheele worked as a pharmacist in Stockholm, from 1770-1775 in Uppsala, and later in Köping. In 1776, he was able to establish his own pharmacy, which he had purchased from the previous owner's widow. The two married, but Scheele passed away 48 hours later.[citation needed] The mortar and pestle is an international symbol of pharmacists and pharmacies. ... For other uses, see Gothenburg (disambiguation). ... Motto: FrÃ¥n arbetarstad till kunskapsstad (eng: From industrial city to knowledge city) Location of Malmö in northern Europe Coordinates: , Country  Sweden Municipality Malmö Municipality County SkÃ¥ne County Province Scania (SkÃ¥ne) Charter 13th century Government  - Mayor Illmar Reepalu Area  - City 335. ... The mortar and pestle is an international symbol of pharmacists and pharmacies. ... For other uses, see Stockholm (disambiguation). ... Uppsala (older spelling Upsala) is a city in central Sweden, located about 70 km north of Stockholm. ... Köping Municipality is a Municipality in Västmanland County, in central Sweden where Köping is the seat. ...


Scientific career

Despite his lack of a thorough education, he clearly had an instinctive flair for experimentation. Scheele's limited formal instruction makes his successes all the more surprising. The schooling which Scheele did have was private and it was through this education that he exhibited an inclination to study the art of the pharmacist. He put substantial effort into learning as much as he could in science, even staying up late at night reading different chemical books. In the scientific method, an experiment (Latin: ex- periri, of (or from) trying) is a set of observations performed in the context of solving a particular problem or question, to retain or falsify a hypothesis or research concerning phenomena. ... The mortar and pestle is an international symbol of pharmacists and pharmacies. ... A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ...


Unlike scientists such as Antoine Lavoisier and Isaac Newton who were more widely recognized, Scheele had a humble position in a small town, and preferred that to the grandeur of an extravagant house, yet he was still able to make significant scientific discoveries. Scheele turned down high-paying offers by prestigious European academies. Frederick II offered him a Berlin position, and the English government offered him a generous salary for his work, but Scheele remained at his pharmacy to serve his faithful customers. Lavoisier redirects here. ... Sir Isaac Newton FRS (4 January 1643 – 31 March 1727) [ OS: 25 December 1642 – 20 March 1727][1] was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, and alchemist. ... Frederick II (German: ; January 24, 1712 – August 17, 1786) was a King of Prussia (1740–1786) from the Hohenzollern dynasty. ... This article is about the capital of Germany. ...


Scheele made many discoveries in chemistry before others who are generally given the credit, and his numerous discoveries have yet to be surpassed.[citation needed] One of Scheele's most famous discoveries was oxygen produced as a by-product in a number of experiments in which he heated chemicals during 1771-1772. Scheele, though, did not name or define oxygen; that job would fall to Antoine Lavoisier, the second to quantitatively isolate the gas, (August 1774), who published a paper with the new name in 1775. For other uses, see Chemistry (disambiguation). ... This article is about the chemical element and its most stable form, or dioxygen. ... Lavoisier redirects here. ...


Scheele described the discovery of oxygen and nitrogen (1772-1773), in his only book, Chemische Abhandlung von der Luft und dem Feuer (Chemical Treatise on Air and Fire) in 1777, losing some fame to Joseph Priestley, who independently discovered oxygen in 1774. In his book, he also distinguished heat transfer by thermal radiation from that by convection or conduction. Like many other chemists of his time, Scheele often worked under difficult and even dangerous conditions. Also, he had a habit of tasting chemicals that he found. It appears that this was the cause of his premature death at the age of 43; his death symptoms resemble mercury poisoning. (Scheele also discovered an element called Molybdenum (Mo), which is now number 42 on the Periodic Table of the Elements. He discovered it in Köping, Sweden.) This article is about the chemical element and its most stable form, or dioxygen. ... General Name, symbol, number nitrogen, N, 7 Chemical series nonmetals Group, period, block 15, 2, p Appearance colorless gas Standard atomic weight 14. ... Priestley by Ellen Sharples (1794)[1] Joseph Priestley (March 13, 1733 (old style) – February 8, 1804) was an eighteenth-century British natural philosopher, Dissenting clergyman, political theorist, theologian, and educator. ... In thermal physics, heat transfer is the passage of thermal energy from a hot to a colder body. ... Radiant heat redirects here. ... Convection in the most general terms refers to the movement of currents within fluids (i. ... Heat conduction or thermal conduction is the spontaneous transfer of thermal energy through matter, from a region of higher temperature to a region of lower temperature, and acts to equalize temperature differences. ... It has been suggested that Acrodynia be merged into this article or section. ...


The possibly apocryphal story is told that Scheele was to be ennobled by Gustavus III for his discoveries, but that the honor was mistakenly conferred on an obscure soldier of the same name (Fuller's Thesaurus of Anecdotes, 1116). Gustav III (13 January 1746 (O.S.) (24 January 1746 (N.S.))–March 29, 1792) was the King of Sweden from February 12, 1771 until his death. ...


Existing theories before Scheele

Statue of Scheele in Köping

By the time he was a teenager, Scheele had learned the dominant theory on gases in the 1770s, the phlogiston theory. Phlogiston, classified as "matter of fire" stated that any material that was able to burn would release phlogiston during combustion, and stops when all the phlogiston had been released. When Scheele discovered oxygen he called it "fire air" because it supported combustion, but he explained oxygen using phlogistical terms because he did not believe that his discovery disproved the phlogiston theory. Before Scheele made his discovery of oxygen, he studied air. Air was thought to be an element that made up the environment in which chemical reactions took place but did not interfere with the reactions. Scheele's investigation of air enabled him to conclude that air was a mixture of "fire air" and "foul air;" in other words, a mixture of two gases. He performed numerous experiments in which he burned substances such as saltpeter (potassium nitrate), manganese dioxide, heavy metal nitrates, silver carbonate and mercuric oxide. In all of these experiments, he isolated gas with the same properties; his "fire air," which he believed combined with phlogiston to be released during heat-releasing reactions. However, his first publication , A Chemical Treatise on Air and Fire, was not released until 1777 at which time both Joseph Priestley and Lavoisier had already published their experimental data and conclusions concerning oxygen and the phlogiston theory. The phlogiston theory is a now discredited 17th century hypothesis regarding combustion. ... The phlogiston theory is a now discredited 17th century hypothesis regarding combustion. ... The phlogiston theory is a now discredited 17th century hypothesis regarding combustion. ... The phlogiston theory is a now discredited 17th century hypothesis regarding combustion. ... This article is about the chemical element and its most stable form, or dioxygen. ... The phlogiston theory is a now discredited 17th century hypothesis regarding combustion. ... This article is about the chemical element and its most stable form, or dioxygen. ... R-phrases   S-phrases   Supplementary data page Structure and properties n, εr, etc. ... Manganese(IV) oxide is the chemical compound MnO2, commonly called manganese dioxide. ... Silver carbonate, Ag2CO3, is a yellow to yellow-grey powder that is insoluble in water. ... Mercury(II) oxide, also called mercuric oxide, has a formula of HgO and a formula weight of 216. ... The phlogiston theory is a now discredited 17th century hypothesis regarding combustion. ... Priestley by Ellen Sharples (1794)[1] Joseph Priestley (March 13, 1733 (old style) – February 8, 1804) was an eighteenth-century British natural philosopher, Dissenting clergyman, political theorist, theologian, and educator. ... Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier (August 26, 1743 - May 8, 1794) was a French nobleman prominent in the histories of chemistry, finance, biology, and economics. ... This article is about the chemical element and its most stable form, or dioxygen. ... The phlogiston theory is a now discredited 17th century hypothesis regarding combustion. ...


Debunking the theory of phlogiston

Historians of science no longer question the role of Carl Scheele in the overturning of the phlogiston theory. It is generally accepted that he was the first to discover oxygen, among a number of prominent scientists (namely his adversaries Antoine Lavoisier, Joseph Black, and Joseph Priestley). In fact, it was determined that Scheele made the discovery three years prior to Joseph Priestley and at least several before Lavoisier. Joseph Priestley relied heavily on Scheele's work, perhaps so much so that he would not have made the discovery of oxygen on his own. Correspondence between Lavoisier and Scheele indicate that Scheele achieved interesting results without the advanced laboratory equipment that Lavoisier was accustomed to. Through the studies of Lavoisier, Joseph Priestley, Scheele, and others, chemistry was made a standardized field with consistent procedures. Although Scheele was unable to grasp the significance of his discovery of oxygen, his work was essential for the invalidation of the long-held theory of phlogiston. The phlogiston theory is a now discredited 17th century hypothesis regarding combustion. ... Lavoisier redirects here. ... Joseph Black Joseph Black (April 16, 1728 - December 6, 1799) was a Scottish physicist and chemist. ... Priestley by Ellen Sharples (1794)[1] Joseph Priestley (March 13, 1733 (old style) – February 8, 1804) was an eighteenth-century British natural philosopher, Dissenting clergyman, political theorist, theologian, and educator. ... Priestley by Ellen Sharples (1794)[1] Joseph Priestley (March 13, 1733 (old style) – February 8, 1804) was an eighteenth-century British natural philosopher, Dissenting clergyman, political theorist, theologian, and educator. ... Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier (August 26, 1743 - May 8, 1794) was a French nobleman prominent in the histories of chemistry, finance, biology, and economics. ... Priestley by Ellen Sharples (1794)[1] Joseph Priestley (March 13, 1733 (old style) – February 8, 1804) was an eighteenth-century British natural philosopher, Dissenting clergyman, political theorist, theologian, and educator. ... This article is about the chemical element and its most stable form, or dioxygen. ... Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier (August 26, 1743 - May 8, 1794) was a French nobleman prominent in the histories of chemistry, finance, biology, and economics. ... Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier (August 26, 1743 - May 8, 1794) was a French nobleman prominent in the histories of chemistry, finance, biology, and economics. ... Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier (August 26, 1743 - May 8, 1794) was a French nobleman prominent in the histories of chemistry, finance, biology, and economics. ... Priestley by Ellen Sharples (1794)[1] Joseph Priestley (March 13, 1733 (old style) – February 8, 1804) was an eighteenth-century British natural philosopher, Dissenting clergyman, political theorist, theologian, and educator. ... For other uses, see Chemistry (disambiguation). ... This article is about the chemical element and its most stable form, or dioxygen. ... The phlogiston theory is a now discredited 17th century hypothesis regarding combustion. ...


Scheele's study of the gas not yet named oxygen was sparked by a complaint by Torbern Olof Bergman. Bergman informed Scheele that the saltpeter he purchased from Scheele's employer produced red vapors when it came into contact with acid. Scheele's quick explanation for the vapors led Bergman to suggest that Scheele analyze the properties of manganese dioxide. It was through his studies with manganese dioxide that Scheele developed his concept of "fire air." He ultimately obtained oxygen by heating mercuric oxide, silver carbonate, magnesium nitrate, and saltpeter. Scheele wrote about his findings to Lavoisier who was able to grasp the significance of the results. This article is about the chemical element and its most stable form, or dioxygen. ... Torbern Olof Bergman (March 20, 1735 Katrineberg, Sweden, – July 8, 1784 Medevi, Sweden) was a Swedish chemist and mineralogist. ... Bergmann, Bergman is originally a German-Jewish surname. ... Bergmann, Bergman is originally a German-Jewish surname. ... Manganese(IV) oxide is the chemical compound MnO2, commonly called manganese dioxide. ... Manganese(IV) oxide is the chemical compound MnO2, commonly called manganese dioxide. ... This article is about the chemical element and its most stable form, or dioxygen. ... Mercury(II) oxide, also called mercuric oxide, has a formula of HgO and a formula weight of 216. ... Silver carbonate, Ag2CO3, is a yellow to yellow-grey powder that is insoluble in water. ... Magnesium nitrate is a hygroscopic salt with the formula Mg(NO3)2. ... Salt peter( a. ... Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier (August 26, 1743 - May 8, 1794) was a French nobleman prominent in the histories of chemistry, finance, biology, and economics. ...


In addition to his joint recognition for the discovery of oxygen, Scheele is argued to have been the first to discover other chemical elements such as barium (1774), manganese (1774), molybdenum (1778), and tungsten (1781), as well as several chemical compounds, including citric acid, lactic acid, glycerol, hydrogen cyanide (also known, in aqueous solution, as prussic acid), hydrogen fluoride, and hydrogen sulfide. In addition, he discovered a process similar to pasteurization, along with a means of mass-producing phosphorus (1769), leading Sweden to become one of the world's leading producers of matches. For other uses, see Barium (disambiguation). ... General Name, symbol, number manganese, Mn, 25 Chemical series transition metals Group, period, block 7, 4, d Appearance silvery metallic Standard atomic weight 54. ... General Name, Symbol, Number molybdenum, Mo, 42 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 6, 5, d Appearance gray metallic Standard atomic weight 95. ... For other uses, see Tungsten (disambiguation). ... Citric acid is a weak organic acid found in citrus fruits. ... For the production of milk by mammals, see Lactation. ... Glycerine, Glycerin redirects here. ... R-phrases , , , , . S-phrases , , , , , , , , . Flash point −17. ... Hydrogen fluoride is a chemical compound with the formula HF. Together with hydrofluoric acid, it is the principal industrial source of fluorine and hence the precursor to many important compounds including pharmaceuticals and polymers (e. ... Hydrogen sulfide (or hydrogen sulphide) is the chemical compound with the formula H2S. This colorless, toxic and flammable gas is responsible for the foul odour of rotten eggs and flatulence. ... Pasteurization (or pasteurisation) is the process of heating liquids for the purpose of destroying viruses and harmful organisms such as bacteria, protozoa, molds, and yeasts. ... General Name, symbol, number phosphorus, P, 15 Chemical series nonmetals Group, period, block 15, 3, p Appearance waxy white/ red/ black/ colorless Standard atomic weight 30. ...


Scheele made one other very important scientific discovery in 1774, arguably more revolutionary than his isolation of oxygen. He identified lime, silica, and iron, in a specimen of pyrolusite given to him by his friend, Johann Gottlieb Gahn, but could not identify an additional component. When he treated the pyrolusite with hydrochloric acid over a warm sand bath, a yellow-green gas with a strong odor was produced. He found that the gas sank to the bottom of an open bottle and was denser than ordinary air. He also noted that the gas was not soluble in water. It turned corks a yellow color and removed all color from wet, blue litmus paper and some flowers. He called this gas with bleaching abilities, "dephlogisticated marine acid" (dephlogisticated hydrochloric acid) Eventually, Sir Humphrey Davy named the gas chlorine. This article is about the chemical element and its most stable form, or dioxygen. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The chemical compound silicon dioxide, also known as silica, is the oxide of silicon, chemical formula SiO2. ... General Name, symbol, number iron, Fe, 26 Chemical series transition metals Group, period, block 8, 4, d Appearance lustrous metallic with a grayish tinge Standard atomic weight 55. ... Pyrolusite is a mineral consisting essentially of manganese dioxide (MnO2) and is important as an ore of manganese. ... Johan Gottlieb Gahn discovered manganese in 1774. ... Pyrolusite is a mineral consisting essentially of manganese dioxide (MnO2) and is important as an ore of manganese. ... Hydrochloric acid is the aqueous solution of hydrogen chloride gas (HCl). ... Hydrochloric acid is the aqueous solution of hydrogen chloride gas (HCl). ... Humphry Davy Sir Humphry Davy (December 17, 1778 - May 29, 1829), often incorrectly spelled Humphrey, was a Cornish chemist. ... General Name, symbol, number chlorine, Cl, 17 Chemical series nonmetals Group, period, block 17, 3, p Appearance yellowish green Standard atomic weight 35. ...


See also

Scheelite is a calcium tungstate mineral with the chemical formula CaWO4. ... Scheeles Green, also called Schloss Green, is chemically a cupric hydrogen arsenite (also called copper arsenite or acidic copper arsenite), CuHAsO3. ... The mortar and pestle is an international symbol of pharmacists and pharmacies. ... For other uses, see Pharmacy (disambiguation). ...

Bibliography

  • Abbott, David. (1983). Biographical Dictionary of Scientists: Chemists. New York: Peter Bedrick Books, 126-127. 
  • Bell, Madison S. (2005). Lavoisier in the Year One. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 
  • Cardwell, D.S.L. (1971). From Watt to Clausius: The Rise of Thermodynamics in the Early Industrial Age. Heinemann: London, 60-61. ISBN 0-435-54150-1. 
  • Dobbin, L. (trans.) (1931). Collected Papers of Carl Wilhelm Scheele. 
  • Farber, Eduard ed. (1961). Great Chemists. New York: Interscience Publishers, 255-261. 
  • Greenberg, Arthur. (2000). A Chemical History Tour: Picturing Chemistry from Alchemy to Modern Molecular Science. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 135-137. 
  • Greenberg, Arthur. (2003). The Art of Chemistry: Myths, Medicines and Materials. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 161-166. 
  • Schofield, Robert E (2004). The Enlightened Joseph Priestley: A Study of His Life and Work from 1773-1804. Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press. 
  • Shectman (2003). Groundbreaking Scientific Experiments, Inventions, and Discoveries of the 18th Century. Connecticut: Greenwood Press. 
  • Sootin, Harry (1960). 12 Pioneers of Science. New York: Vanguard Press. 

References

  • Excerpts from the Chemical Treatise on Air and Fire

  Results from FactBites:
 
Carl Wilhelm Scheele - FreeEncyclopedia (162 words)
Carl (or Karl) Wilhelm Scheele, (December 9, 1742 - May 21, 1786) Swedish chemist, born in Stralsund, Pomerania, Germany, was the discoverer of many chemical substances, most notably discovering oxygen before Joseph Priestley.
Scheele worked as a pharmacist in Stockholm, from 1770-1775 in Uppsala, and later in Köping.
Scheele also discovered other chemical elements like chlorine (1774), manganese (1774), molybdenum (1778), tungsten (1781), and barium, as well as several molecules like glycerol, hydrogen cyanide (aka prussic acid), citric acid, hydrogen sulphide, and hydrogen fluoride[?].
Wikipedia: Carl Wilhelm Scheele (191 words)
Carl (or Karl) Wilhelm Scheele, (December 9,1742 - May 21, 1786) a Swedish chemist, born in Stralsund, Pomerania, Germany, was the discoverer of many chemical substances, most notably discovering oxygen before Joseph Priestley.
Scheele worked as a pharmacist in Stockholm, from 1770 to 1775 in Uppsala, and later in Köping.
Scheele also discovered other chemical elements such as barium (1774), chlorine (1774), manganese (1774), molybdenum (1778), and tungsten (1781), as well as several chemical compounds, including citric acid, glycerol, hydrogen cyanide (also known as prussic acid), hydrogen fluoride, and hydrogen sulphide.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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