SubjectsSubjects(version: 875)
Course, academic year 2019/2020
History of Chemistry - V832001
Title: Historie chemie
Guaranteed by: Department of Education and Human Sciences (832)
Actual: from 2019 to 2019
Semester: summer
Points: summer s.:3
E-Credits: summer s.:3
Examination process: summer s.:
Hours per week, examination: summer s.:2/0 Ex [hours/week]
Capacity: unlimited / unknown (80)
Min. number of students: unlimited
Language: Czech
Teaching methods: full-time
For type:  
Note: course can be enrolled in outside the study plan
enabled for web enrollment
Guarantor: Novák Miroslav Ing. CSc.
Interchangeability : N832014
Annotation -
Last update: Novák Miroslav Ing. CSc. (29.01.2018)
The subject brings a survey of chemistry development from antiquity to the modern age with emphasis on significance of chemistry for the mankind advancement. Topics cover development of theoretic points of view toward matter and its transformation. There are described ancient chemical technologies, alchemic opinions and procedures and their heritage for the modern chemistry, the chemical revolution in the 18th century, development of a chemical nomenclature and periodization of elements. The emphasis is also put to description of organic chemistry development in the 19th century and development of basic chemical technologies as well.
Aim of the course -
Last update: Novák Miroslav Ing. CSc. (29.01.2018)

Students will:

  • be knowledgeable about development of theoretic points of view toward matter and its transformation;
  • know ancient and medieval technologies of important products (metals, pottery, glass, remedies, building materials, etc.);
  • understand meaning of alchemy for the modern chemistry;
  • get knowledge of organic chemistry development in the 19th century;
  • be knowledgeable about development of chemical nomenclature and elements periodization;
  • get knowledge of history of important inorganic industrial processes;
  • get a survey of development of chemical school system and of history of UCT Prague.

Literature -
Last update: Novák Miroslav Ing. CSc. (06.03.2019)

Brock W. H., The History of Chemistry: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2016.

Levey M., Chemistry and Chemical Technology in Ancient Mesopotamia. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1959.

Partington J.R., A history of chemistry. Mansfield Center, CT. Martino Pub., 2009.

Ambix, The Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry, Maney Publ.

Tylecote R.F., A history of metalurgy. The Institute of Materials. Carlton House Terrace, London, 1992.

Syllabus -
Last update: Novák Miroslav Ing. CSc. (29.01.2018)

1. Introduction. Meaning of chemistry and its role in the mankind history. Development of chemical theories: four-elements, sulfur-mercury, sulfur-mercury-salt, phlogiston, oxygen and atomic ones. History of engineering studies of chemistry, history of UCT Prague. Nobel prize winners Prelog and Heyrovský.

2. Prehistoric and ancient chemistry. Sources of prehistory knows. Age determination of archeological findings.

3. Ancient chemical technologies: fire, pigments, pottery, glaze, glass, mortars. Food conservation. Other technologies (tanning, textiles colorizing, drugs, cosmetics).

4. History of metallurgy. Pure metals. Metallurgy of copper and bronze. Development of iron metallurgy. Blacksmith processing. Furnaces development. Pig iron fining – puddling, converter, open-hearth furnace.

5. Alchemy. Hellenistic and Arabian periods. European period. Rudolph II. Theoretic alchemy. Practical alchemy. Alchemic cryptography. Alchemical forgeries. Lapis philosophorum.

5. Transient period. Social changes. Iatrochemistry, Paracelsus. Pneumatic chemistry, van Helmont, Boyle. Phlogistonics Stahl, Cavendish, Priestley, Scheele.

6. Beginnings of the modern chemistry. Oxygen discovery. Lavoisier. Stoichiometry. Basic chemical laws. Dalton’s atomic theory. Hypothesis of Avogadro. Congress at Karlsruhe. The Canizzaro’s reform of atomic weights. Rule of Dulong and Petit.

7. Organic chemistry in the 19th century. Development of theoretical points of view – vitalistic, radical, type and structural theories. Organic analysis – Gay-Lussac, Berzelius, Liebig. Finding of carbon tetravalence, catenation, cyclic catenation, double and triple bonds – Couper, Kekulé.

8. Structural formulas of Loschmidt and Crum Brown. Structure of aromatic compounds. Benzene formula of Loschmidt and Kekulé. Valence isomers of benzene.

9. Periodization of chemical elements. Triads. Telluric screw. Odling’s arrangements. Rule of octaves, Newlands. Table of Lothar Meyer. Table of Mendeleev. Predicted elements. Lanthanides, Brauner. Noble gases, Ramsay. Discovery of isotopes, Soddy. Actinides, McMillan, Seaborg. History of discovery of certain elements.

10. Chemical nomenclature development. Introduction – terminology vs. nomenclature, logograms, redundancy, absolute and relative nomenclature. Protochemical and alchemical nomenclature.

11. Attempts to rational nomenclature, Lémery, Geoffroy, Bergmann. The first rational nomenclature, Morveau, Lavoisier, Berthollet, Fourcroy. Logograms of Berzelius.

12. Czech chemical nomenclature. Revivalistic period, Presl, Amerling, Kodym. The reform of Šafařík. The reform of Batěk and Votoček. Contemporary modification of the nomenclature.

13. History of applied chemistry. Bohemian sulfuric acid. Chamber, tower and contact processes of sulfuric acid manufacture.

14. Alkalies manufacture. Soda – natural resources, Leblanc and Solvay processes. Potash - natural resources, manufacture. Alkalic hydroxides – caustification, electrolytic process.

Registration requirements -
Last update: Novák Miroslav Ing. CSc. (29.01.2018)

No prerequisities are required.

Course completion requirements -
Last update: Novák Miroslav Ing. CSc. (29.01.2018)

Each student must successfully pass the examination before the end of the semester.

Teaching methods
Activity Credits Hours
Konzultace s vyučujícími 0,5 14
Účast na přednáškách 1 28
Příprava na přednášky, semináře, laboratoře, exkurzi nebo praxi 0,5 14
Příprava na zkoušku a její absolvování 0,5 14
3 / 3 70 / 84
Coursework assessment
Form Significance
Examination test 100