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Joseph Black

Glasgow University Library Special Collections

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Joseph Black

An engraving of the physician and chemist Joseph Black (1728-1799) from the printed volumes of the manuscripts of his celebrated chemistry lectures that were published in 1803.

Born in Bordeaux the son of a Scottish mother, Black studied at Glasgow and Edinburgh. In 1756 he succeeded his mentor William Cullen as lecturer in Chemistry and was appointed Professor of Anatomy. In 1757 he became Professor of Practice of Medicine, leaving Glasgow in 1766 to become Professor of Chemistry in Edinburgh.

Black is best known for his work in developing the science of thermodynamics through his research into latent and specific heat, in which he collaborated with his friend James Watt. He was the first scientist to identify carbon dioxide. His friends included such luminaries of the Scottish Enlightenment as Adam Smith and David Hume.

Reference: Sp Coll c.6.21

Glasgow University Library, Special Collections

carbon dioxide, Chemistry, chemists, Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, latent heat, medicine, portraits, professors, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, scientists, Scottish Enlightenment, University of Glasgow

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