By M. Morselli
Quantum refert in quae tempora vel optimi cujusque virtus incidet. (From an architrave at the Palatine.) The background of the advance of medical notion bargains numerous examples of unconventional, confusing and premature conjectures complex by means of vague males. The molecular speculation set forth through Amedeo Avogadro in 1811 is this type of. It used to be little spotted whilst proposed and it quickly fell into oblivion. even though various makes an attempt were made some time past 100 years to spot the most purposes for the overlook and the indifference which surrounded the molecular speculation, little or no attempt has been dedicated to displaying how ancient situations and Avogadro's personal character hindered the reputation of the options he had proposed. After part a century of severe clinical job, Avogadro passed on to the great beyond as little identified in Italy as out of the country. He had few shut neighbors and his own existence appeared situated on his huge kin and his paintings. open air this restricted circle, he refrained from social engagements and highbrow contacts. this perspective can have been inspired by way of the political scenario in Piedmont, his local state, which remained primarily antagonistic to highbrow job till 1840, during which time Avogadro was once sixty-four. the single respite in Piedmont had come through the short-lived Napoleonic regime; and relatively remarkably, the molecular speculation used to be conceived and released on the very finish of this period.
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Extra resources for Amedeo Avogadro: A Scientific Biography
Cognasso, 'Le Scuole', in Storia del Piemonte, vol. 2 (Turin, 1960), p. 683. 42. See G. C. Faccio, 'Avogadro e Ie Scuole di Vercelli', in La Sesia, 18 March 1955. 43. According to J. R. Partington, History of Chemistry, vol. III (London, 1963), p. 495, de La Metherie had expressed the same view concerning oxygen in his 'Essai analytique sur l'air pur et les difrerentes especes d'air' (1785). Davy also said this in his second Bakerian Lecture. 44. The fact that Berzelius had some of his work published in the Journal de Physique suggests that it was not a second-rate publication, as it has been repeated by several historians of the period, in connection with the attempts to explain the neglect of Avogadro's 1811 hypothesis.
In another session of the 1840 congress, Avogadro went back to his distinction between 'apparent' and 'real' neutrality of a substance and defined the 'neutralizing power' of the element from its 'atomic mass', which he now considered the keystone of the molecular theory. Except for a few favorable comments by Auguste de la Rive in the discussion of the specific heats of solids, which formed the subject of a third paper, there is no record in the minutes of the congress of comments to Avogadro's contributions.
Turin, Arch. Accad. delle Scienze, MS, 1804. 27. For Beccaria and Priestley. see J. Priestley, History and Present State of Electricity, 4th ed. (London, 1775), p. 314. Beccaria's work on the decomposition of water had attracted the attention of Cavendish. Alessandro Volta, who was only twenty-two, in 1767, took a critical position of Beccaria's De electricitate vindice, dealing with electrostatic induction. As for Francesco Cigna, born in 1734, professor of anatomy at Turin, he conducted a series of experiments on electrostatics which were noticed by Beccaria and were by him communicated to Franklin in 1767.