Georg Ernst Stahl


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Stahl, Georg Ernst

 

Born Oct. 21, 1659, in Ansbach, in what is now the Federal Republic of Germany; died May 14, 1734, in Berlin. German physician and chemist.

Stahl graduated from the medical faculty at the University of Jena in 1683 and subsequently became a professor there. In 1694 he was named a professor at the University of Halle, and in 1716 he became the personal physician of the king of Prussia. Further developing the concepts of J. J. Becher, Stahl formulated the phlogiston theory in 1697; in 1703 he advanced a more detailed version. The theory, which synthesized a large body of data on reduction, combustion, and calcination, gained considerable popularity in the 18th century; it was later proved erroneous, however, by research on gases (seePNEUMATIC CHEMISTRY) and the findings of A. Lavoisier.

In his works on physiology, Stahl supported the idea of vitalism, and he developed the reactionary theory of animism, a term he introduced.

REFERENCES

Guia, M. Istoriia khimii [2nd ed.]. Moscow, 1975. (Translated from Italian.)
Shtrube, I. “Rol’ teorii flogistona G. E. Shtalia v razvitii khimii 18 v.” Voprosy istorii estestvoznaniia i tekhniki, 1970, issue 2 (31), pp. 58–65.