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Jan Baptista van Helmont
Transcript of Jan Baptista van Helmont
Dylan Scheumann January 12, 1577–December 30, 1664 Jan Baptista van Helmont Biography Jan Baptista van Helmont was born on January 12, 1579 in Brussels, Belgium into a noble family in Brussels. He was educated at Leuven, and after changing his area of study several times he practiced medicine, in which he took his doctor's degree in 1599. He was also was a chemist, physiologist and physician Jan Baptista van Helmont studied several different things. He was a disciple of Paracelsus, who was a famous alchemist at the time. He also studied the revolutionary science of chemistry, which taught him to be a careful observer of nature. He spent young adult years traveling throughout Europe. He returned to his home country, Belgium, where he married a rich woman and settled at Vilvoorde in 1609. He spent the rest of his life doing chemical experiments and practicing medicine. During the Spanish Inquisition, he was persecuted for derogating miracles as part of science. From 1633 to 1636, he was arrested and could not publish his works until 1642. Awards Jan Baptista van Helmont did not receive any awards. How He Changed Science He made important contributions to our understanding of photosynthesis and chemistry. He performed an experiment where he measured the mass of a potted willow tree and the soil around it. He let it grow for 5 years in a controlled environment. He discovered that the mass of the tree was more than the weight of the original 200 pounds of soil. This led him to reject that the common idea that plants were fed by soil. He later discovered that plants were mostly made of water. He is also regarded as the founder of pneumatic chemistry, because he discovered gas. He discovered that carbon dioxide is given off by burning charcoal and by fermentation. He also discovered air and that it was made up of several different substances. Jan Baptista van Helmont continued with his chemical experiments and medical practices until his death on December 30, 1644. Bibliography http://www.eoearth.org/article/Van_Helmont%2C_Jan_Baptista