ANTON LEOPOLD RUPRECHT - A CHEMIST, MINERALOGIST, METALLURGIST AND A DISTINGUISHED PERSONALITY OF THE CHEMICAL REVOLUTION IN THE 18TH CENTURY

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Jozef Čársky
Ivan Herčko

Abstract

Based on Empress Maria Theresa’s order (of December 13, 1762) the first higher school institution specialised in technical education in Europe with the Department of Chemistry, Mineralogy and Metallurgy was founded in Schemnitz (present-day Banská Štiavnica) in 1763. The efforts to educate highly qualified technicians in mining, metallurgy and related fields in Austria-Hungary was crowned by foundation of this school, which in 1770 (after establishment of the Department of Mathematics, Mechanics and Hydraulics, and the Department of Mining Art and Mining Law) changed its name to a loud-sounding the Mining and Forestry Academy. Within a relatively short time, the school achieved a European recognition also by its research activities. Its particular importance emerged from the application of new scientific knowledge and development of progressive technological methods performed due to research outcomes. The school was characterised by adopting experimental methods based on measuring and weighing, and thus contributed significantly to revolutionary changes of scientific understanding of chemical processes, to supporting of Lavoisier’s oxidation theory and to discarding of the phlogiston interpretation of combustion. In the rich history of the Mining Academy since its foundation, the top positions were held by eminent and internationally recognized authorities who provided not only theoretical and practical teaching and training, but also research activities linked to the production practice – Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin, Giovanni Antonio Scopoli, and particularly Anton Leopold von Ruprecht.

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