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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index S > Carl Wilhelm Scheele Quotes

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Carl Wilhelm Scheele
(9 Dec 1742 - 21 May 1786)

Swedish chemist.


Science Quotes by Carl Wilhelm Scheele (2 quotes)

Neue Phaenomena zu erklδren, dieses macht meine Sorgen aus, und wie froh ist der Forscher, wenn er das so fleissig Gesuche findet, eine Ergφtzung wobei das Herz lacht.
To explain new phenomena, that is my task; and how happy is the scientist when he finds what he so diligently sought, a pleasure that gladdens the heart.
— Carl Wilhelm Scheele
Letter to Johan Gahn. Original German quote in Mary Elivira Weeks, The Discovery of the Elements (1934), 153, citing Nordenskiφld, Scheeles nachgelassene Briefe und Aufzeichnungen (1892), 151. Translation in Mary Elvira Weeks and Henry M. Leicester (ed.)The Discovery of the Elements (6th ed. 1956), 223.
Science quotes on:  |  Diligence (7)  |  Discovery (360)  |  Explanation (88)  |  Gladness (3)  |  Happiness (58)  |  Heart (46)  |  Phenomenon (114)  |  Pleasure (52)  |  Scientist (237)  |  Seeking (17)  |  Task (32)

I took a glass retort, capable of containing eight ounces of water, and distilled fuming spirit of nitre according to the usual method. In the beginning the acid passed over red, then it became colourless, and lastly again all red: no sooner did this happen, than I took away the receiver; and tied to the mouth of the retort a bladder emptied of air, which I had moistened in its inside with milk of lime lac calcis, (i.e. lime-water, containing more quicklime than water can dissolve) to prevent its being corroded by the acid. Then I continued the distillation, and the bladder gradually expanded. Here-upon I left every thing to cool, tied up the bladder, and took it off from the mouth of the retort.— I filled a ten-ounce glass with this air and put a small burning candle into it; when immediately the candle burnt with a large flame, of so vivid a light that it dazzled the eyes. I mixed one part of this air with three parts of air, wherein fire would not burn; and this mixture afforded air, in every respect familiar to the common sort. Since this air is absolutely necessary for the generation of fire, and makes about one-third of our common air, I shall henceforth, for shortness sake call it empyreal air, [literally fire-air] the air which is unserviceable for the fiery phenomenon, and which makes abut two-thirds of common air, I shall for the future call foul air [literally corrupted air].
— Carl Wilhelm Scheele
Chemische Abhandlung von der Luft und dem Feuer (1777), Chemical Observations and Experiments on Air and Fire (1780), trans. J. R. Forster, 34-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Acid (14)  |  Air (84)  |  Bladder (2)  |  Burning (13)  |  Candle (9)  |  Corrosion (3)  |  Dazzling (7)  |  Distillation (7)  |  Fire (59)  |  Flame (13)  |  Fume (5)  |  Generation (56)  |  Glass (19)  |  Light (117)  |  Mixture (11)  |  Nitric Acid (2)  |  Oxygen (34)  |  Receiver (4)  |  Retort (2)  |  Spirit (52)  |  Vivid (8)  |  Water (122)


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  • todayinsci icon 9 Dec - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Scheele's birth.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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