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The Alchemy web site on Levity.com
Alchemical and archaic chemistry terms
Part II (L-Z)
href="http://maple.lemoyne.edu/~giunta/archem.htm">http://maple.lemoyne.edu/~giunta/archem.htm with some later additions by Gleb Butuzov Partial list of sources:
Julius Grant, Chemical Dictionary, 3rd ed. (Philadelphia: Blakiston, 1944) James Bryant Conant, ed., Harvard Case Histories in Experimental Science, vol. 1 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 1957) W. E. Flood, The Dictionary of Chemical Names (New York: Philosophical Library, 1963) Frederick Soddy, "Radioactivity", Chemical Society Annual Reports 10, 262-88 (1913)
Go to Part I (A-K) lead fume. Lead oxide obtained from the flues at lead smelters. Libavius, fuming liquor of (spiritus fumans Libavii): tin tetrachloride (SnCl4), which fumes because it is hydrolyzed by moisture in the air to stannic oxide. First prepared at the beginning of the seventeenth century by the German chemist Andreas Libavius. When mixed with one-third of its weight of water, it forms a hydrate formerly called butter of tin. ligne: Unit of length in late 18th-century France; see pied. lime: calcium oxide (CaO, calcareous earth, quicklime). Carbonate of lime was calcium carbonate (CaCO3, mild calcareous earth, chalk), and slaked lime calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2, caustic calcareous earth). lime-water: a saturated aqueous solution of calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2). litharge: lead (II) oxide (PbO). litharge. Reddish-yellow crystalline form of lead monoxide, formed by fusing and powdering massicot. liver of sulphur. Complex of polysulphides of potassium, made by fusing potash and sulphur. livre: Unit of mass in the late 18th-century France: 1 livre (Paris pound) = 16 onces; 1 once (Paris ounce) = 8 gros; 1 gros = 72 grains. In modern units, the livre is equivalent to 489 grams or about 1.08 pounds in the "English" system still commonly used in the United States. logwood: haematoxylin
fixed air. muriatic acid.Alchemical and archaic chemistry terms Page 2 of 8 luna cornea. lapis infernalis.levity. Formed by roasting litharge in air. but it was actually antimony trichloride. also known as mild magnesian earth. mercurius praecipitatus. acidum salis. namely 228Ra (half-life = 5. mercury of life. mephitic acid). mesothorium II is an isotope of actinium. spirit of salt). azote. Described by Oswald Croll in 1608. but either to talc or to magnets. Also corruption of ancient magnesia-.8 y). but was named magnium by Davy to avoid confusion with another magnesia. phlogisticated air) or carbon dioxide (CO2. Geber made this by adding an acid to thion hudor. his elementary molecule corresponds to a modern atom and his composite molecule to a modern molecule.: Magnesia alba (literally "white magnesia") was magnesium carbonate (MgCO3). mineral alkali. Mesothorium I is an isotope of radium. Scarlet crystalline powder. (See atom. Eventually manganese became the name of the metal present in the mineral. Gaseous HCl was marine acid air. sometimes also called simply magnesia or manganese. meant something like "ultimate particle of a substance". he may have used mercury in its preparation. marine alkali. http://www. Avogadro. natural manganese dioxide (MnO2). lye: potassium hydroxide solution (KOH) magnesia etc. mesothorium: There were two mesothoriums produced in thorium decay. soda) mephitic air: nitrogen (N2. manganese: See magnesia etc. mercurius calcinatus per se: mercuric oxide (HgO. Red mercuric oxide.) molybdena (molybdenum disulphide)-. Magnesia nigra (literally "black magnesia") was the mineral pyrolusite. White colloidal sulphur. namely 228Ac (half-life = 6 hr) milk of sulphur (lac sulphuris). common: hydrated sodium carbonate (fossil alkali. fossil alkali. red lead). The metal present in this compound is magnesium. Silver nitrate. The soft colourless tough mass of silver chloride. marine acid: hydrogen chloride solution (HCl. precipitated mercury per se. Paracelsus's name for one of his curative concoctions. red precipitate). made by heating horn silver till it forms a dark yellow liquid and then cooling.which however didn't refer to manganese. soda) minium: a lead oxide (Pb3O4. Described by Geber. for example. carbonic acid.html 8/23/2010 . lunar caustic. marine alkali: sodium carbonate (common mineral alkali.it seems that miners saw lead everywhere. molecule: does not necessarily correspond to the modern conception of two or more atoms chemically bound together.com/alchemy/al_term2.the name derives from Greek molübdaina 'lead'-.
Naples yellow. narcotic salt of vitriol (boric acid)-. Named by the copper miners of Westphalia the 'kupfer-nickel' or false copper. nitrum flammans. NO2. natron. acidum salis.html 8/23/2010 . Native sodium carbonate. Yellow ore of arsenic. Lavoisier's name for oxygen. Scheele's name. One of Lavoisier's few mistakes. It was Lavoisier's name for a gas derived from muriatic (hydrochloric) acid. N2O5 nitrous air: nitric oxide (NO. saltpeter). made by heating a mixture of tin filings. nitrous air) or a mixture of nitrogen oxides such as that produced by the action of nitric acid on a metal in the presence of air. aqua fortis. orpiment. Close but no cigar-. spirit of salt). auri-pigmentum. nitrous gas). nitrous gas: specifically nitric oxide (NO. vitriolic acid). sulphur and sal ammoniac. named on the belief that it was a compound of oxygen and HCl (muriatic acid). once: Unit of mass in late 18th-century France.com/alchemy/al_term2. so called because he thought it was the formative principle of acids (Greek oxüs). He obviously saw it as a compound of oxygen. another name for iron sulphate. not to be confused with copper sulphate. marine acid.hydrogen is. olefiant gas: ethene (C2H4). spirit of nitre) or nitrous acid (HNO2) or a mixture of these acids. see livre. and sulfur. would have been better. http://www. nickel. An oxychloride of lead. oxymuriatic acid: chlorine (Cl2. oxygen.levity. see muriatic acid. dephlogisticated marine acid). N2O4. or Cassel yellow.made from (green) vitriol. Ammonium nitrate made by Glauber. fire air. charcoal. See Dutch oil. muriate: chloride. nitre or niter: potassium nitrate (KNO3. muriatic acid: hydrochloric acid (HCl.Alchemical and archaic chemistry terms Page 3 of 8 mosaic gold. Arsenic trisulphide. Black gunpowder was made from nitre. nitric acid: nitrogen dioxide (NO2) or nitrogen pentoxide (N2O5). made by heating litharge with sal ammoniac. oil of vitriol or oil of sulfur per campanum or spirit of vitriol (spiritus vitrioli): sulfuric acid (H2SO4. or one or more of the nitrogen oxides N2O3. nitrous acid: nitric acid (HNO3. Made by distilling green vitriol. or blue vitriol. muriatic gas is gaseous HCl. Golden-yellow glistening scales of crystalline stannic sulphide.
pinte: volume unit in late 18th-century France.145 cubic inches. phlogisticated air: nitrogen (N2. including lead oxide (litharge) or lead sulfide (galena). or graphite (black lead). Used for colouring glass.01508 English pints. pouce: Unit of length in late 18th-century France.html 8/23/2010 . phlogisticated nitrous air: nitrous oxide (N2O). 58. dephlogisticated air. or 0. Metals were seen as the result of combining calces with phlogiston. pearl ash) or crude sodium carbonate leached from the ashes of plant material. made by precipitation when a solution of butter of antimony in spirit of salt is poured into water. The theory of phlogiston is associated with Stahl. used by Lemery as a cosmetic. In modern units. mercurius calcinatus per se. or potassium hydroxide (KOH. smelting expelled the phlogiston. see nitrous air.953 liters. the pied is equivalent to 0. potash: crude or purified potassium carbonate (K2CO3. eventually an iron http://www. vital air). powder of Algaroth. stannous and stannic chlorides. A white powder of antimonious oxychloride. pure air: oxygen (O2. Zinc oxide made by burning zinc in air. pied: Unit of length in late 18th-century France: 1 pied (Paris foot) = 12 pouces. phlogiston: a hypothetical elastic fluid which was seen as a metalizing and combustible principle. equal to 2. with alkali. philosophers' wool.com/alchemy/al_term2. lye) or even potassium oxide (K2O). flowers of zinc). purple of Cassius. Called Zinc White and used as a pigment. phlogiston leaves the combustible body to combine with air or saturate air. 1 pouce (Paris inch) = 12 lignes. vegetable alkali. Made by Andreas Cassius in 1685 by precipitating a mixture of gold. precipitated mercury per se or precipitate per se: mercuric oxide (HgO. Sometimes confused with black lead .325 meters or about 1. Basic nitrate of bismuth. or nix alba (white snow).H2O) plumbago: a lead ore. plaster of paris: calcium sulfate (Ca(SO4)2. In combustion.levity.07 feet in the "English" system still commonly used in the United States. azote).Alchemical and archaic chemistry terms Page 4 of 8 pearl ash: potassium carbonate (K2CO3) pearl white. pompholix: crude zinc oxide (ZnO. pyrite or pyrites: originally any "fire-stone" from which sparks could be struck. red precipitate). prussic acid: hydrocyanic acid (HCN). see pied.
Alchemical and archaic chemistry terms Page 5 of 8 sulfide or iron-copper sulfide. precipitated mercury per se). namely 210Po (half life = 140 d). rouge. methanol. red lead: a lead oxide (Pb3O4.. Stable in air.com/alchemy/al_term2.9 y). regulus: A metal was formerly called the regulus of the ore from which it was reduced. red ore of arsenic. containing acetic acid. namely 210Pb (half life = 21 y). and acetone quicklime: calcium oxide (CaO. the author did not necessarily know that the product was the same in both cases. namely 227Th (half life = 19 d). radiolead: a radioactive isotope of lead produced in uranium decay.e. [Markwald] Also called radium F. radiothorium: an isotope of thorium produced in thorium decay. Boyle in 1664 by heating copper with corrosive sublimate. minium). red precipitate: mercuric oxide (HgO. radiotellurium: An isotope of polonium produced in uranium decay. Red varieties of ferric oxide are formed by burning green vitriol in air.e. saccharum saturni: sugar of lead http://www. namely 228Th (half-life = 1. radioisotopes is often a more appropriate modern term. reverberatory furnace: a furnace constructed so that a sample placed within it is heated from above as well as from the fire beneath it. lime). Also radium D. and heating the residual mercuric nitrate.what we now call antimony.html 8/23/2010 . A regulus ('little king') was the heavy substance that sank to the bottom of your crucible. 'Antimony' then referred to kohl (antimony trisulphide). One way of preparing red precipitate was by mixing mercury with nitric acid. For example. calcareous earth.levity. Cuprous chloride. resin of copper. radioactinium: a radioactive isotope of thorium produced in actinium decay. colcothar. regulus of antimony thus referred to the pure metal isolated from kohl-. "regulus" (without further specification) meant regulus of antimony (i. quicksilver: liquid mercury metal. pyroligneous acid: distillate from wood. Made by R. retort: a container with a long tubular neck used by chemists and alchemists for distillation and the like. before the concept of isotopy). antimony in modern nomenclature). radio-elements: For occurrences before 1913 (i. evaporating. realgar. Since precipitation from nitric acid was a different method of preparation than calcination.. so the author may not regard red precipitate as synonymous with mercurius calcinatus per se. Arsenic disulphide. mercurius calcinatus per se. crocus. the furnace may have a top which reflects heat on the sample from the fire below it.
spiritus fumans. typically prepared by distilling wine. sugar of lead.296 g. muriatic acid). Caustic soda was sodium hydroxide (NaOH). marine acid. Antimony trisulphide. Calcium hydroxide.. siliceous earth: silicon dioxide (SiO2). nitre). sal commune: common salt. See also fossil alkali. sugar of lead (saccharum saturni: lead acetate (Pb(CH3CO)2) stibnite. A perfectly straightforward name. see alkaline air. i. aqua fortis. sulphuret: sulfide (hepar). scruple: unit of apothecary weight equal to 1. acidum salis. see aqua vitae. Stannic chloride. Grey mineral ore of antimony. spirit of wine (spiritus vini): concentrated aqueous ethanol (C2H5OH). spirit of nitre: nitric acid (HNO3. sodium chloride (NaCl). Glauber's salt) saltpeter or saltpetre: potassium nitrate (KNO3. Named so because it was made from camel dung from the Temple of Jupiter Ammon in Egypt. http://www.levity. Soda ash. Made by dissolving lead oxide in vinegar. spirit of vitriol (spiritus vitrioli): See oil of vitriol. Spanish white: bismuth oxychloride (BiOCl) or oxynitrate (BiONO3) spirit (spiritus): an essence or extract that can be prepared from another substance as by distillation spirit of hartshorn: ammonia (NH3) or its aqueous solution (acqueous ammonia)(formerly prepared from animal horns or hooves). washing soda) or sodium hydrogen carbonate (NaHCO3. Sodium carbonate formed by burning plants growing on the sea shore.Alchemical and archaic chemistry terms Page 6 of 8 sal ammoniac: ammonium chloride (NH4Cl). discovered by Libavius in 1605. soda: sodium carbonate (Na2CO3.html 8/23/2010 . it was distilled from harts' horns! The same substance derived from another and less attractive process was called volatile salt of urine. through distilling tin with corrosive sublimate. slaked lime. baking soda. volatile alkali.e. spirit of salt (spiritus salis): hydrochloric acid (HCl.com/alchemy/al_term2.10H2O. common mineral alkali. Lead acetate. sal enixum: potassium sulfate (K2SO4) sal mirabilis: sodium sulfate (Na2SO4. nitrous acid). marine alkali.
NaHCO3) turbith mineral (or turpeth): basic sulfate of mercury. A deep reddishyellow liquid made by boiling flowers of sulphur with slaked lime. Made from arsenical soot from the roasting ovens. venetian white. especially iron sulfate.5H2O). Hydrated stannous chloride. white lead: basic lead carbonate (2PbCO3. tartar or tartar of wine: potassium hydrogen tartrate (KHC4H4O6). pearl ash). sulphurous acid or sulphurous gas: sulfur dioxide (SO2). verdigris. Tartar emetic is potassium antimonyl tartrate.html 8/23/2010 . vitriol: a sulfate. Vitriolic acid air (and sometimes vitriolic acid) was sulfur dioxide (SO2).2HgO. cream of tartar (cremor tartari) when purified into small white crystals. dephlogisticated air. spirit of hartshorn. vitriolic acid: sulfuric acid (H2SO4. white arsenic. Thion hudor (Zosimus refers to this as the 'divine water' or 'the bile of the serpent'). Mixture of equal parts of white lead and barium sulphate. A hydrolysed form of mercuric sulphate. and white vitriol was zinc sulfate (ZnSO4. Concrete volatile alkali refers to ammonium carbonate ((NH4)2CO3). salt of tartar: solid potassium carbonate. Cupric carbonate. see alkaline air.com/alchemy/al_term2. HgSO4. oil of vitriol). Sometimes specified as mild vegetable alkali or fixed vegetable alkali. pure air). Blue vitriol was copper sulfate (CuSO4. purified by sublimation. volatile alkali: aqueous ammonia (NH3).7H2O. green vitriol was iron (II) sulfate (FeSO4. vital air: oxygen (O2. Oil of tartar: a saturated solution of potassium carbonate (K2CO3). tin salt. turpeth mineral. trona: natural sodium carbonate (Na2CO3. copperas). Arsenious oxide.Pb(OH)2) http://www.Alchemical and archaic chemistry terms Page 7 of 8 sulphuretted hydrogen: hydrogen sulfide (H2S.7H2O). hepatic air). Yellow crystalline powder. vegetable alkali: crude or purified potassium carbonate (K2CO3.levity. sulphuric acid: sulfur trioxide (SO3). described by Basil Valentine.
Potassium carbonate made from the ashes of burnt wood.html 8/23/2010 . Go to Part I (A-K)of the Alchemical and archaic chemistry terms http://www. left after roasting cobalt ore. Impure cobalt arsenate.com/alchemy/al_term2.levity. zaffre.Alchemical and archaic chemistry terms Page 8 of 8 wood-ash or potash.
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