RG

IN CONTEXT

BRANCH

Chemistry

BEFORE

1661 Robert Boyle defines an element, laying the foundations for modern chemistry.

1754 Joseph Black identifies a gas, carbon dioxide, which he calls “fixed air.”

AFTER

1772–75 Joseph Priestley and (independently) Sweden’s Carl Scheele isolate oxygen, followed by Antoine Lavoisier, who names the gas. Priestley also discovers nitric oxide, nitrous oxide, and hydrogen chloride, and experiments with inhaling oxygen and making soda water.

1799 Humphry Davy suggests nitrous oxide could be useful as an anesthetic in surgery.

1844 Nitrous oxide is first used for anesthesia by American dentist Horace Wells.

In 1754, Joseph Black ...

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