1.1 What is Chemistry?

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http://www.ck12.org Chapter 1. Introduction to Chemistry

1.2 The Scientific Method

Lesson Objectives

  • Describe the approaches used by the ancient Greek philosophers to understand the world around them.

  • Define inductive and deductive reasoning.

  • Name key individuals and groups who contributed to the science of chemistry.

  • Describe the scientific method.

  • Describe the rise and fall of the phlogiston theory.

Lesson Vocabulary

  • inductive reasoning: Involves getting a collection of specific examples and drawing a general conclusion
    from them.

  • deductive reasoning: Takes a general principle and then draws a specific conclusion from the general concept.

  • scientific method: A process consisting of making observations, developing a hypothesis, and testing that

  • phlogiston: The substance that is lost from a material when it is burned.

Check Your Understanding

Recalling Prior Knowledge

  • How did ancient civilizations know what chemical processes to use?

How Do We Know What We Know?

Earth, Air, Fire, and Water

Humans have always wondered about the world around them. One of the questions of interest was (and still is)
what is this world made of? Among other definitions, chemistry has often been defined as the study of matter. What
matter consists of has been a source of debate over the centuries. One of the key arenas for this debate in the Western
world was Greek philosophy.

Philosophy literally means “love of wisdom.” The Greek philosophers held a great deal of influence in society’s
general knowledge and belies from about the seventh century to the first century B.C. As the Roman Empire became
more powerful, Greek ideas were gradually supplanted by Roman ones. However, many of the ideas carried over
into medieval Europe where they were reexamined along with the rise of modern scientific thought.

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