1667 – phlogiston theory

Phlogiston theory was a failure and eventually shown to be false. It was based on the idea that any combustible substance contained an element known as phlogiston that was released during the burning process. This had historical roots in various theories of alchemy which generally included four elements: fire, water, air and earth.

The first documented phlogiston theory was published in 1667 by Johann Becher of Germany. In 1703, Georg Stahl expanded on Becher’s theory and coined the term “phlogiston” from the greek root phlogistos. In 1777, Lavoisier conducted an experiment that debunked phlogiston theory and replaced it with an understanding of oxidation.

1743 – Lavoisier

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