Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,122 words)

1. Concept

Combustion today means the exothermic oxidation of a substance, generally in reaction with oxygen. Processes that are comparable in chemical terms are the rusting of iron and the metabolic physiology of respiration. It was not until the late 18th century that it came to be understood that these very different phenomena were attributable to the same process.

2. Corpuscular explanations

According to the Aristotelian view, combustion was re…

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Meinel, Christoph, “Combustion”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 28 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_029518>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170206

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