This essay that examines the role of the volcano as a chemical site in the late eighteenth century, as the “new chemistry” spread throughout the southern Italian Kingdom of Naples, resulting in lively debates. In Naples itself, these scientific debates were not confined to academies, courts, and urban spaces. In the absence of well-equipped chemical laboratories, Neapolitan scholars also carried out research on chemistry on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, a natural site that furnished them with all the tools and substances necessary for practising chemistry. By examining various Neapolitan publications on Vesuvius and the chemical reactions and products associated with its periodic eruptions, I argue that the volcano's presence contributed to a distinctive, local approach to chemical theory and practice. Several case studies examine the ways in which proximity to Vesuvius was exploited by Neapolitan scholars as they engaged with the new chemistry, including Giuseppe Vairo, Michele Ferrara, Francesco Semmola, and Emanuele Scotti.

If you don’t a have a good laboratory, find a good volcano: Mount Vesuvius as a natural chemical laboratory in eighteenth century Italy

Guerra C
2015

Abstract

This essay that examines the role of the volcano as a chemical site in the late eighteenth century, as the “new chemistry” spread throughout the southern Italian Kingdom of Naples, resulting in lively debates. In Naples itself, these scientific debates were not confined to academies, courts, and urban spaces. In the absence of well-equipped chemical laboratories, Neapolitan scholars also carried out research on chemistry on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, a natural site that furnished them with all the tools and substances necessary for practising chemistry. By examining various Neapolitan publications on Vesuvius and the chemical reactions and products associated with its periodic eruptions, I argue that the volcano's presence contributed to a distinctive, local approach to chemical theory and practice. Several case studies examine the ways in which proximity to Vesuvius was exploited by Neapolitan scholars as they engaged with the new chemistry, including Giuseppe Vairo, Michele Ferrara, Francesco Semmola, and Emanuele Scotti.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3742052
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