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Handbook of Energy by Christopher G. Morris, Cutler J. Cleveland

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Section 22

Chemistry

From atomic theory to combustion to petroleum refining, advances in the field of chemistry have changed our understanding of the natural world while at the same time producing energy and materials that fill everyday life. The roots of chemistry trace to ancient Greece when Democritus and Leucippus held that everything is composed of “atoms”, that are physically, but not geometrically, indivisible (ca. 440 BC). Aristotle declared the existence of only four elements: fire, air, water and earth, that all matter is made up of these four elements, and that matter had four properties: hot, cold, dry, and wet (ca. 300 BC).

Alchemists (ca. 1000- ca.1650) are also credited with advancing chemistry even though many of the their ideas ...

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