JOHANN VAN HELMONT (1579-1644)

1621 – Brussels, Belgium

Portrait of  JOHANN VAN HELMONT

JOHANN VAN HELMONT

‘There are gases other than air’

Van Helmont coined the term ‘gas’.

He hypothesised that the proof that matter is made entirely of water was provided by his experiment of growing a tree-shoot in a weighed quantity of soil and finding that the weight of the tree increased by over a thousand fold whilst that of the soil decreased only slightly. He failed to consider the contribution of the air.

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