Joseph Black


Joseph Black

Infobox Scientist
name = Joseph Black
box_width =


image_width = 180px
caption = Mezzotint engraving after Sir Henry Raeburn
birth_date = April 16,1728
birth_place = Bordeaux, France
death_date = December 6,1799
death_place = Edinburgh
residence =
citizenship =
nationality = Scottish
ethnicity =
field = Medicine, physics, and chemistry
work_institutions =
alma_mater =
doctoral_advisor =
doctoral_students = James Watt
known_for = Latent heat, specific heat, and the discovery of carbon dioxide
author_abbrev_bot =
author_abbrev_zoo =
influences =
influenced =
prizes =
religion =
footnotes =

Joseph Black (April 16,1728 – December 6,1799 [DSB |first=Henry |last=Guerlac |title=Black, Joseph
volume=2 |pages=173-183
] ) was a Scottish physicist and chemist, known for his discoveries of latent heat, specific heat, and carbon dioxide. He was a founder of thermochemistry who developed many pre-thermodynamics concepts, such as heat capacity, and was the mentor for James Watt. The chemistry buildings at both the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow are named after him.

Early years

Black was born in Bordeaux, France, where his father, who was from Belfast, Ireland, was engaged in the wine trade. His mother was from Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and her family was also in the wine business. Joseph had twelve brothers and sisters. [cite book | author = Lenard, Philipp | title = Great Men of Science | year = 1950 | publisher = G. Bell and Sons | location = London | pages = 129 | isbn = 0-8369-1614-X (Translated from the second German edition)] He entered the University of Glasgow when he was eighteen years old, and four years later he went to Edinburgh to further his medical studies.

Professional life

While at the University of Edinburgh, Black studied properties of carbon dioxide (CO2). [cite web | last = | first = | title = Experiments upon Magnesia Alba, Quick-Lime, and some other Alkaline Substances | work = | publisher = | date = | url = http://web.lemoyne.edu/~giunta/black.html| format = | accessdate = 2008-03-08] . One of his experiments involved placing a flame and mice into the carbon dioxide. Because both entities died, Black concluded that the air was not breathable. He named it 'fixed air' in 1754. In 1756 Black described how carbonates become more alkaline when they lose carbon dioxide, whereas the taking-up of carbon dioxide reconverts them. He was the first person to isolate carbon dioxide in a perfectly pure state. This was an important step in the history of chemistry as it helped people to realize that air was not an element, but rather was composed of many different things. Black's work also aided in discrediting the belief in a fiery principle called phlogiston.

In about 1750, Joseph Black developed the analytical balance based on a light-weight beam balanced on a wedge-shaped fulcrum. Each arm carried a pan on which the sample or standard weights was placed. It far exceeded the accuracy of any other balance of the time and became an important scientific instrument in most chemistry laboratories. [cite web | last = | first = | title = Equal Arm Analytical Balances | work = | publisher = | date = | url = http://history.nih.gov/exhibits/balances/index.html | format = | accessdate = 2008-03-08] .

In 1757, he was appointed Regius Professor of the Practice of Medicine at the University of Glasgow.

In 1761, wrote Ogg, Black deduced that the application of heat to ice does not cause its immediate liquefaction, rather the ice absorbed the heat without a rise in temperature. [cite book | author = Ogg, David | title = Europe of the Ancien Regime: 1715-1783 | year = 1965 | publisher = Harper & Row | location = | pages = | isbn = ] Additionally, Black observed that the application of heat to boiling water does not result in immediate evaporation. From these observations, he concluded that the heat applied must have combined with the ice particles and boiling water and become latent. In espousing his theory of latent heat, said Ogg, the new subject of thermal science commenced. [cite book | author = Ogg, David | title = Europe of the Ancien Regime: 1715-1783 | year = 1965 | publisher = Harper & Row | location = | pages = 117 and 283 | isbn = ] Black's theory of latent heat was one of his more-important scientific contribution, and one on which his scientific fame chiefly rests. He also showed that different substances have different specific heats. This all proved important not only in the development of abstract science but in the development of the steam engine. [cite book | author = Ogg, David | title = Europe of the Ancien Regime: 1715-1783 | year = 1965 | publisher = Harper & Row | location = | pages = 283 | isbn = ]

Personal life

Black was a friend of James Watt, who first began his studies on steam power at Glasgow University in 1761. Black also was a member of the Poker Club and associated with David Hume, Adam Smith, and the literati of the Scottish Enlightenment. Black never married. He died in Edinburgh at the age of 71, and is buried there in Greyfriars Kirkyard.

ee also

*calorimetry
*carbon dioxide
*heat
*thermochemistry
*thermodynamics
*Timeline of hydrogen technologies

References

Further reading

*Citation
id = PMID:13440275
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/13440275
publication-date=1957 Jun 8
year=1957
title=JOSEPH BLACK and the discovery of carbon dioxide.
volume=44
issue=23
periodical=Med. J. Aust.
pages=801-2

*Citation
id = PMID:5325596
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5325596
publication-date=1966 Apr 25
year=1966
title=Joseph Black--rediscoverer of fixed air.
volume=196
issue=4
periodical=JAMA
pages=362-3

*Citation
id = PMID:11624012
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11624012
last=Breathnach
first=C S
publication-date=1999 Oct
year=1999
title=Irish links of the multinational chemist Joseph Black (1728-1799).
volume=28
issue=4
periodical=Journal of the Irish Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons
pages=228-31

*Citation
id = PMID:10954923
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10954923
last=Breathnach
first=C S
publication-date=2000 Aug
year=2000
title=Joseph Black (1728-1799): an early adept in quantification and interpretation.
volume=8
issue=3
periodical=Journal of medical biography
pages=149-55

*Citation
id = PMID:6999492
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6999492
last=Buchanan
first=W W
last2=Brown
first2=D H
publication-date=1980 Jun
year=1980
title=Joseph Black (1728-1799): Scottish physician and chemist.
volume=224
issue=1344
periodical=The Practitioner
pages=663-6

*Citation
id = PMID:13397909
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/13397909
last= Buess
first=H
publication-date=1956
year=1956
title= [Joseph Black (1728-1799) and the original chemical experimental research in biology and medicine.]
volume=13
issue=3-4
periodical=Gesnerus
pages=165-89

*Citation
id = PMID:11615707
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11615707
last=Donovan
first=A
publication-date=1978 Nov
year=1978
title=James Hutton, Joseph Black and the chemical theory of heat.
volume=25
issue=3
periodical=Ambix
pages=176-90

*Citation
id = PMID:4563352
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4563352
last=Eklund
first=J B
last2=Davis
first2=A B
publication-date=1972 Oct
year=1972
title=Joseph Black matriculates: medicine and magnesia alba.
volume=27
issue=4
periodical=Journal of the history of medicine and allied sciences
pages=396-417

*Citation
id = PMID:13411612
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/13411612
last= Foregger
first=R
publication-date=
year=1957
title=Joseph Black and the identification of carbon dioxide.
volume=18
issue=2
periodical=Anesthesiology
pages=257-64

*Citation
id = PMID:13217111
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/13217111
last=Frackleton
first=W G
publication-date=1953 Nov 1
year=1953
title=Joseph Black and some aspects of medicine in the eighteenth century.
volume=22
issue=2
periodical=The Ulster medical journal
pages=87-99

*Citation
id = PMID:13491209
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/13491209
last=Guerlac
first=H
publication-date=1957 Dec
year=1957
title=Joseph Black and fixed air. II.
volume=48
issue=154
periodical=Isis; an international review devoted to the history of science and its cultural influences
pages=433-56

*
*Citation
id = PMID:11615908
url= http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11615908
last=Perrin
first=C E
publication-date=1982 Nov
year=1982
title=A reluctant catalyst: Joseph Black and the Edinburgh reception of Lavoisier's chemistry.
volume=29
issue=3
periodical=Ambix
pages=141-76

*

External links

* [http://web.lemoyne.edu/~giunta/black.html Black's experiments on Alkaline Substances]
* [http://www.gashe.ac.uk:443/public_docs/isaar/P0308.html Joseph Black] – Biographical information
* [http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Joseph_Black Joseph Black] – "Encyclopedia Britannica", 1911


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