By Michael Atiyah
Professor Atiyah is among the maximum residing mathematicians and is celebrated through the mathematical global. he's a recipient of the Fields Medal, the mathematical similar of the Nobel Prize, and continues to be on the top of his profession. His large variety of released papers, targeting the parts of algebraic geometry and topology, have the following been amassed into six volumes, divided thematically for simple reference via members drawn to a selected topic. From 1977 onwards his curiosity moved towards gauge theories and the interplay among geometry and physics
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He extended the sulphur-mercury theory of the Islamic alchemists by adding a third principle, namely salt. Thus, when wood burned, the combustible component was identified with sulphur, the volatile component with mercury and the ashes that remained with salt. The composition of all substances could be expressed in terms of these three principles, or tria prima. As in the previous theories, sulphur, mercury and 30 The History of Chemistry salt were not equated with the common materials with those names, but rather with their essential qualities.
Van Helmont's conclusion, was, of course, mistaken because he was unaware of the uptake of carbon dioxide by the plant. There is an undoubted irony in this, because it was he who coined the term gas, and recognised gases as a new class of substance. He found that when 62 pounds of charcoal were heated, only one pound of ashes remained, and he deduced that 61 pounds of gas sylvester (carbon dioxide) escaped. Sometimes when gas was generated in a sealed vessel, for example when nitric acid came into contact with sal ammoniac, the liberated gas burst the vessel.
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Collected Works: Volume 5: Gauge Theories by Michael Atiyah