Talk:Joseph Black

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He discovered 'fixed air'. We know he was not the first from Jan_Baptist_van_Helmont and from Carbon_dioxide. Did he 're-discover' or merely 'study' fixed air? Acuster 03:46, 4 May 2005 (UTC)

Actual date of death?[edit]

Biography page at University of Glascow says Dec 6, 1799

Britannica says Nov 10, 1799

Clemwang 17:40, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

"Curiously, the early authorities on Black's life are mistaken about hte date of his death, variously given as November 26 and November 10. But a letter from Robison to James Watt settles the point: Black died on December 6, 1799, in his seventy-second year." - Henry Guerlac; Essays and Papers in the History of Science, page 289. - StevenBell (talk) 21:17, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Reverted to previous version[edit]

The last update (by an IP with several warnings already) was apparently copied directly from this source, including typos. Therefore, while the text of the original encyclopedia appears to fall within fair use, redistribution of the published content is prohibited at the publishing site under section 5 and I felt that reversion was appropriate. NOTE that the date was changed from 1746 to 1744 by the same user, which I did NOT revert, as I am new to this process, was not able to verify it as accurate, and am yielding to editors with more experience. - Wickertu 18:43, 21 March 2007 (UTC)


Joseph Black awards - Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:30, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Does anyone have Black-related pictures that could be added to this article? Perhaps drawings or photographs of some of Black's scientific equipment? - Astrochemist (talk) 23:21, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Latent heat[edit]

The article said"In 1761 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.[3] Additionally, Black observed that the application of heat to boiling water does not result in immediate evaporation. "

Contrary to the article before my edit, adding heat to ice, at say, -10 C, increases its temperature; ice has a specific heat. It is only at the melting point that adding heat to an ice/water mixture that at first no temperature rise is detected, only once all the ice is melted. The error in the wording of the steam/water system is similar. DonSiano (talk) 15:10, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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His nickname, which was Blackie is missing. Recently read a Scots Magazine article about him. Good for a reference. Scope creep (talk) 10:50, 8 October 2016 (UTC)

Agreed that it should be mentioned. And agreed that the Scots Magazine is a very good source of wiki-relevant info. However, WP:BOLD applies here. Rarely a need to raise such uncontroversial issues at a Talk page: just do it and if any user seriously objects then they can raise it at talk. Mais oui! (talk) 10:26, 9 October 2016 (UTC)

Meaningless Sentence[edit]

In the article is written:

"The latent heat of water is large compared with many other liquids, so giving impetus to James Watt's attempts to improve the efficiency of the steam engine invented by Thomas Newcomen."

It is true that water has a large latent heat compared to many other liquids, but how could that fact give "impetus" to Watt's attempts to improve the steam engine invented by Newcomen? The sentence is completely meaningless. I would usually try to make a constructive suggestion but I can't even guess at what was being attempted here. My suggestion is that the sentence simply be deleted.

David.Boettcher (talk) 18:53, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

Principles ?[edit]

The following was removed since Black had advanced well beyond notions of Principle (chemistry):

Like most 18th-century experimentalists, Black's conceptualisation of chemistry was based on five 'principles' of matter: Water, Salt, Earth, Fire and Metal.<ref {{cite book|last1=Eddy|first1=Matthew Daniel|title=John Walker, Chemistry and the Edinburgh Medical School, 1750-1800|date=2008|publisher=Routledge|location=London|url=}} /ref> He added the principle of 'Air' when his experiments definitely confirmed the presence of carbon dioxide, which he called 'fixed air'.

The assertion has been replaced by quotation and reference to Lectures given by Black. — Rgdboer (talk) 02:51, 31 January 2020 (UTC)

@GwydionM: From John Walker reference: (The Language of Minearology)

Leading literati like William Cullen, David Skene, John Walker and Joseph Black used 'facts' and 'principles' to create comprehensive catalogues of nature, medicine and thought that served to arrange knowledge in a useful manner.(page 8)

This excerpt does not support the text to which it is attached in the article. On the other hand, Elements of Chemistry (1806) volume 2 was linked via Internet Archive to show precisely what Black wrote. — Rgdboer (talk) 02:18, 4 February 2020 (UTC)

By all means add what you have from a source. Just do not thrown away other stuff unless you can definitely show it to be wrong.--GwydionM (talk) 10:34, 4 February 2020 (UTC)