History of Chemistry

  • Period: 700 BCE to 480 BCE

    Ancient Greeks

    Identified metals but proclaimed earth, air, fire, and water to be the elements.
  • Period: 1500 to

    16th Century

    Alchemists begin focusing their efforts on trying to turn metals into gold.
  • 1530


    Alchemist and physician, suggested salt, sulfur, and mercury were the three "elements" that make up all things. He unknowingly observed hydrogen but did not identify it as a new element.
  • Boyle's Law

    Robert Boyle established the law of gases, which states that as the volume of gas decreases with increasing pressure.
  • Phlogiston Theory

    Established by Johann Becher
  • Discovery of Phosphorus

    By Hennig Brand
  • Discovery of Carbon Dioxide

    Joseph Priestley studied "brewery gas" and began mixing it with water for fizzy drinks.
  • Discovery & Categorization

    Priestley along with Lord Shelbourne and Francois Lavoisier work together with other scientists in Europe and Paris to discover and categorize elements.
  • Discovery of Oxygen

    Discovered by Joseph Priestley
  • Splitting Atoms

    Humphrey Davy discovers how to split atoms into smaller parts.
  • Discovery of Hydrogen

    Henry Cavendish discovered hydrogen by dropping zinc into HCl