Joseph Black

Joseph Black

Joseph Black (* 16. April 1728 in Bordeaux, France; † 10. November 1799 in Edinburgh) was a Scottish physicist and chemist. He is the discoverer of the carbon dioxide, the element magnesium and the latent warmth.

As a son of Scottish parents in Bordeaux born studied Black in Glasgow and Edinburgh medicine and chemistry. From 1756 to 1766 he taught chemistry, medicine and anatomy at the University of Glasgow, starting from 1766 was he a professor for chemistry at the University of Edinburgh.

1754 he discovered the carbon dioxide, which he described as “fixed air” (fixed air), the burn procedures prevented. It described as when heating up carbonates their solutions alkalinely and carbon dioxide was delivered, while adding from carbon dioxide repaired the basic materials to the received alkalis. In addition Black isolated as first carbon dioxides in pure form. Its work proven that gases can be taken part in chemical reactions, and contributed to the case of the Phlogistontheorie , those the existence of a “fire particle” as basis for burn procedures postulated and only end 18. Century completely one disproved by Antoine Lavoisiers oxidation theory.

1755 recognized Black as first magnesium as an element.

he discovered 1761 that ice absorbs warmth when melting, without changing its temperature. From the fact it concluded that the warmth had combined itself with ice particles and had become “latent”. Until 1763 it developed its theory of the “latent warmth “from these observations about the heat of fusion, on which its scientific fame is based today mainly. It showed also, materials a different latent warmth exhibits and measured the latent warmth of the water vapour.

To 15. May 1789 became Black corresponding member (associé more étranger) the French Académie of the sciences.

James Watt, which introduced crucial improvements of the steam engine, was a pupil and an assistant Blacks.


  • Lectures on the of element OF chemistry in 2 volumes, given change from Robinson to Blacks handwriting, Edinburgh 1803 (German of Crell, Hamburg 1804-1805 in 4 volumes)


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