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Thread: Arnold de Villeneuve Le Rosaire des Philosophes

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    Yes, I have a copy of it. It was translated directly from Latin by a Catalan "licenciado" in Latin philology: Joan Borrell.

    I find the majority of the stuff published by Indigo to be nicely done, actually.
    Got a copy today at a local bookstore (25 dollars), the book seems to be well done.
    My criticism was based on a confusion.... My mind "merged" two different publishing houses (Indigo and Obelisco) because the format of the books is almost identical, so I got confused. The publishing house that is weird is Obelisco, Indigo is better (though it's easy to confuse them, I assume that Obelisco purposefully copies the style that makes the "brand" of indigo be easy to recognize)

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    I bet you any amount of money that no matter how much you study their theories/speculations about matter that you will never just "somehow" learn how to make TNT. No matter how much of their chemical "philosophy" you learn, you still won't discover how to make it.
    Depends on the chemical philosophy. There is more than the Valance shell theory (which is pretty old fashioned - but still used).

    When speaking about Trinitrotoluol (TNT) it's actually possible to make it with different kinds of starting materials -or just a few (if you can get them) if you know the structure of the product and the mechanism of electrophilic aromatic substitution. It's a quite logical mechanism that can be explained with the attraction and bonding between valence electrons of the nucleophile particle and the cores of the electrophile particle. There are quite a lot of products that can be synthesized with this mechanism, following this theory. You can even draw the structures of a fantasy molecule on a paper (according to chemical laws and theories of course) that doesn't (yet) exist and prepare it. That's actually the most used method in organic chemistry to find new matters.

    In inorganic chemistry it's a bit different. Besides the well known acid/base reactions, there are a lot of reactions taking place in a so called "black box" (including some oxidation/reduction ones), where one can't be really sure why and how this happened.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    Depends on the chemical philosophy. There is more than the Valance shell theory (which is pretty old fashioned - but still used).

    When speaking about Trinitrotoluol (TNT) it's actually possible to make it with different kinds of starting materials -or just a few (if you can get them)
    There's only one truly practical way of preparing this substance, the one that is used on a large scale: nitration of toluene. Any other methods have proven too difficult or expensive.

    if you know the structure of the product and the mechanism of electrophilic aromatic substitution. It's a quite logical mechanism that can be explained with the attraction and bonding between valence electrons of the nucleophile particle and the cores of the electrophile particle. There are quite a lot of products that can be synthesized with this mechanism, following this theory.
    You can show as many of these fancy theories as you like to a neophyte, that still won't tell him anything about how this substance is actually made. He will be none the wiser by any of them. Why do you think that terrorists and people who are into explosives for fun need descriptive explosives manuals in order to be able to prepare such substances? They sure as heck won't be able to figure out how to prepare them by reading your average college organic chemistry book, which is mostly devoted to theoretical concepts. A professional chemist might be able to figure it out because he in fact has already been given clear general explanations regarding how such compounds are actually prepared. The fancy formulas, diagrams and drawings, however, by themselves, won't cut it. If you give them to a chemist who has never actually been informed about the basics of how organic nitrations are empirically carried out, he won't be able to figure it out just by looking at such things. The molecule for trinitrotoluene, for example:



    by itself does not tell anyone anything about the very important empirical fact that concentrated sulfuric acid plays an essential part in the practical process for nitrating this hydrocarbon. This important "detail" is only learned if someone informs you about it, or if you find it out on your own by trial and error.

    You can even draw the structures of a fantasy molecule on a paper (according to chemical laws and theories of course) that doesn't (yet) exist and prepare it. That's actually the most used method in organic chemistry to find new matters.
    I chuckle when I hear such pretensions. There are no such "prediction" abilities. Until a substance is actually empirically synthesized and all the practical nuances of its production have actually been empirically examined and worked out, everything about it is nothing but unproven speculation. Witness the fact that by following this speculative line of thinking you are outlining it should be possible to nitrate all hydrocarbons just like toluene. Practice will tell you that such a thing is a fantasy, though. Xylene, benzene and naphthalene, for example, do not nitrate exactly like toluene does. The nitration of each of these hydrocarbons has its own peculiar technical issues and nuances. And if nobody teaches them to you, or you find them out on your own by trial & error, you will never know about them by reading any theories.

    Sweeping generalizations and supposed powers of "prediction" like these are in fact at the core of why physics and ordinary chemistry have convinced (in fact actually fooled) themselves -and unfortunately also the majority of the world- into thinking that transmutation by what they give the umbrella term of "chemical reactions" is "impossible".

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    There's only one truly practical way of preparing this substance, the one that is used on a large scale: nitration of toluene. Any other methods have proven too difficult or expensive.
    You could as well start with benzene and a halogen methane doing a Friedel Crafts alkylation. It's the same mechanism like the nitration.


    You can show as many of these fancy theories as you like to a neophyte, that still won't tell him anything about how this substance is actually made. He will be none the wiser by any of them. Why do you think that terrorists and people who are into explosives for fun need descriptive explosives manuals in order to be able to prepare such substances? They sure as heck won't be able to figure out how to prepare them by reading your average college organic chemistry book, which is mostly devoted to theoretical concepts. A professional chemist might be able to figure it out because he in fact has already been given clear general explanations regarding how such compounds are actually prepared. The fancy formulas, diagrams and drawings, however, by themselves, won't cut it. If you give them to a chemist who has never actually been informed about the basics of how organic nitrations are empirically carried out, he won't be able to figure it out just by looking at such things. The molecule for trinitrotoluene, for example:



    by itself does not tell anyone anything about the very important empirical fact that concentrated sulfuric acid plays an essential part in the practical process for nitrating this hydrocarbon. This important "detail" is only learned if someone informs you about it, or if you find it out on your own by trial and error.
    First I think there is good reason that not everyone is able to do this in his kitchen. But you don't need trial and error. The necessity of sulfuric acid is clearly explained in all the books about the electrophilic substitution (nitration).




    I chuckle when I hear such pretensions. There are no such "prediction" abilities. Until a substance is actually empirically synthesized and all the practical nuances of its production have actually been empirically examined and worked out, everything about it is nothing but unproven speculation. Witness the fact that by following this speculative line of thinking you are outlining it should be possible to nitrate all hydrocarbons just like toluene. Practice will tell you that such a thing is a fantasy, though. Xylene, benzene and naphthalene, for example, do not nitrate exactly like toluene does. The nitration of each of these hydrocarbons has its own peculiar technical issues and nuances. And if nobody teaches them to you, or you find them out on your own by trial & error, you will never know about them by reading any theories.
    Right. You need to learn the theory and do it in the lab. It helps a lot when somebody teaches you how to do it.
    But the fact that you can indeed prepare a molecule with this theories is there. What indeed can not be predicted are the properties/qualities the new matter will have. An acquainted researcher of inorganic chemistry tried to replicate an organic matter in only replacing the carbon atoms with silicon ones. Whereas the organic compound is an effective medicine, the inorganic version with silicon was found to be highly explosive. No one had expected that.

    The nitration of those other molecules you mentioned is not that difficult however, if you know a bit about the conducting effects of the groups attached on the aromatic system and the effects involved around the principles of Le Chatelier.


    Sweeping generalizations and supposed powers of "prediction" like these are in fact at the core of why physics and ordinary chemistry have convinced (in fact actually fooled) themselves -and unfortunately also the majority of the world- into thinking that transmutation by what they give the umbrella term of "chemical reactions" is "impossible".
    But that's indeed hard to believe. Just take a standard chemistry book used at universities. Those books are massive. And there are a lot of examples of all kinds of reactions and theories. None of them include transmutations. Therefore it's not your average common day chemical reaction you can observe. If it actually exists, it must be pretty special and can only be observed under special conditions that haven't been researched yet. And as you state yourself when giving examples about the "one matter theory of alchemy", there has been researched a lot of reactions. And obviously they haven't found one 100% proof of such a chemical transmutaion. If they did, they sure would need to update their books.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    You could as well start with benzene and a halogen methane doing a Friedel Crafts alkylation. It's the same mechanism like the nitration.
    Not practical. There is a reason why TNT on a large scale is prepared by direct nitration.

    First I think there is good reason that not everyone is able to do this in his kitchen. But you don't need trial and error. The necessity of sulfuric acid is clearly explained in all the books about the electrophilic substitution (nitration).
    This:

    https://www.chemguide.co.uk/mechanis...ub/whatis.html

    doesn't tell me anything practical about making TNT. Go ahead and try to make it by reading that theory alone, no detailed descriptions of the actual procedures at all. Good luck! I repeat: if it was that easy and effective, people who dabble with explosives would not need any descriptive manuals detailing actual empirical information on how to prepare these substances. They could pick up your average college organic chemistry text-book with its huge repertoire of such fanciful theories and be able to make such substances with the help of no other information. It just ain't going to happen.

    And in any event, that's just a theoretical "explanation" of facts that were found out empirically. First came the empirical facts, then the theories trying to "explain" them. Chemists were nitrating organic matters quite before such theories existed. They certainly did not need any theories to prepare them. What they needed is actual practical know-how and information. They still do. And this was done, and is still done, by providing clear descriptions of the actual processes. No theory whatsoever will ever substitute that.

    Right. You need to learn the theory and do it in the lab.
    I don't need any such theories to prepare any of these substances, just like the chemists who discovered nitrated organic compounds didn't need them either. What everyone can benefit from is this, though:

    It helps a lot when somebody teaches you how to do it.
    And it is way more than just "help", but in fact a great "desideratum" that will save you countless amounts of time and money if you were to figure it out on your own.

    But the fact that you can indeed prepare a molecule with this theories is there.
    Go ahead and try to make TNT by reading the above theory alone, NO OTHER INFORMATION OF ANY KIND WHATSOEVER. Again: GOOD LUCK!

    What indeed can not be predicted are the properties/qualities the new matter will have. An acquainted researcher of inorganic chemistry tried to replicate an organic matter in only replacing the carbon atoms with silicon ones. Whereas the organic compound is an effective medicine, the inorganic version with silicon was found to be highly explosive. No one had expected that.
    That's another thing that cannot be predicted, indeed.

    The nitration of those other molecules you mentioned is not that difficult however, if you know a bit about the conducting effects of the groups attached on the aromatic system and the effects involved around the principles of Le Chatelier.
    Again, try to make them by reading that alone, no other information of any kind. Such theories will never teach you the actual practical details necessary to produce these compounds. If it was that simple and easy, just about any terrorist in the world would easily prepare such substances without need of more detailed descriptive instructions. All they would have to do is read your average modern college organic chemistry text-books, which are chock-full of such theories and little to no practical information.

    But that's indeed hard to believe. Just take a standard chemistry book used at universities. Those books are massive.
    And nowadays are mostly full of fanciful theories! Compare the average college chemistry text-book of today with one from the 1920s or 30s, for example. The difference is very clear. Now, those older text-books did gather a large amount of empirical facts. Those old chemsitry books I can use with advantage in my investigations. I have zero use for endless jibber-jabber about "electron shells" and the like fanciful theories.

    And there are a lot of examples of all kinds of reactions and theories. None of them include transmutations. Therefore it's not your average common day chemical reaction you can observe. If it actually exists, it must be pretty special and can only be observed under special conditions that haven't been researched yet.... And obviously they haven't found one 100% proof of such a chemical transmutaion. If they did, they sure would need to update their books.
    The reason is because these fellows have actually never bothered to do a systematic empirical investigation of the subject, which would be greatly aided by a systematic examination of the "chymical" literature of the 16th-18th centuries, and instead have opted for making sweeping generalizations, which they try to pass under the guise of supposed "laws", based on the vulgar chemical reactions and procedures they know and practice (simple precipitations, calcinations, solutions, etc., which, to top it off, they also never bother to repeat on the same metal or metallic alloy many times. They simply assume that "it makes no difference" in all cases, LOL!) The fact is that several of the old "chymists" have provided enough information to prove the reality of transmutation. And this info has been around for the last 400+ years! They just have never actually bothered to really investigate the subject.

    And as you state yourself when giving examples about the "one matter theory of alchemy", there has been researched a lot of reactions.
    But that has nothing to do with theories, but with actual empirical examination of single natural matters. This is a much more limited field, since nature's productions are less numerous than mankind's. We can very safely assume that there is no such single natural matter that can do all of what the alchemists describe, since most of nature's productions have already been examined. The same certainly cannot be said about the much vaster and complex world of reactions between all manner of substances.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    This:

    https://www.chemguide.co.uk/mechanis...ub/whatis.html

    doesn't tell me anything practical about making TNT. Go ahead and try to make it by reading that theory alone, no detailed descriptions of the actual procedures at all. Good luck!
    First of all one needs a suitable source. If I would try this, I would certainly not look it up at that webpage. Whoever that Jim Clark is, what he has written there is pretty basic and definately not enough to approach such a task like making TNT.
    There are sources in which that is much better described.

    And in any event, that's just a theoretical "explanation" of facts that were found out empirically. First came the empirical facts, then the theories trying to "explain" them.
    This is true. However, learning about the mechanism and finding theories why this works like it does and comparing it with similar reactions can indeed lead to a working method to handle other matters. To get a slightly more alchemy related example, look at the halogenation of Alkenes, compared to the halogenation of Alkanes. The one reacts immediately after light exposure the other reacts in the dark as well. But it works for all halogens in the same way. Once the mechanism is understood for one (like chlorine) you know how it works with bromine as well. Once it is clear for one Alkane it's the same with all the others. So it is with the Alkenes.

    I don't need any such theories to prepare any of these substances, just like the chemists who discovered nitrated organic compounds didn't need them either.
    If I understand you right, you are saying that it's either all about trial and error or strict reproduction of already known experiments described in (old) books.

    Those imo are veritable methods. But they are not the only ones. You too have admited that TNT can also be made with benzene and halogenomethane. Though not practical it is possible. And I found out through my knowledge of the theory. So it is proven that there are in fact other methods than trial and error and strict reproduction that do work.


    Go ahead and try to make TNT by reading the above theory alone, NO OTHER INFORMATION OF ANY KIND WHATSOEVER. Again: GOOD LUCK!
    With this source by Jim Clark, yes. I would look that up somewhere else. It's like reading a tabloid or a serious newspaper. Or a high school book compared to a college book (mine seem to contain more information than yours).


    If it was that simple and easy, just about any terrorist in the world would easily prepare such substances without need of more detailed descriptive instructions. All they would have to do is read your average modern college organic chemistry text-books, which are chock-full of such theories and little to no practical information.
    Thank god you are right.
    But another reason why those people can't easily do it is because it's a little more complicated. I bet you could not built a spacecraft after having read a book about rocket science. You need to understand it first, do some easy/minor calculations, then the more complicated equations to suck the whole theories up internally before you can do the actual more complicated stuff.

    Then you need the practical experience and the experience of the predecessors. That altogether imo gives the most accurate picture.

    The fact is that several of the old "chymists" have provided enough information to prove the reality of transmutation. And this info has been around for the last 400+ years! They just have never actually bothered to really investigate the subject.
    And in this case, concerning transmutation attemps, there are no theories about in modern science. And since you reject all of the theories of the chymists and the alchemists, indeed all that you have left is trial and error and recipies.

    And I can comprehend that. But it's not true for chemistry in general.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    First of all one needs a suitable source. If I would try this, I would certainly not look it up at that webpage. Whoever that Jim Clark is,
    https://www.chemguide.co.uk/about.html#top

    The man has plenty of experience teaching chemistry to high school and beginning of university students.

    what he has written there is pretty basic and definately not enough to approach such a task like making TNT.
    He wrote the theory, without being accompanied by actual practical examples. And that is my point. You will never learn how to actually make something like TNT from theories alone. Without more practical info, you will never be able to make it just by paying attention to theories. On the other hand, you can read a detailed description of how to make TNT with ZERO theories whatsoever, and you will be perfectly capable of making it.


    This is true. However, learning about the mechanism and finding theories why this works like it does and comparing it with similar reactions can indeed lead to a working method to handle other matters. To get a slightly more alchemy related example, look at the halogenation of Alkenes, compared to the halogenation of Alkanes. The one reacts immediately after light exposure the other reacts in the dark as well. But it works for all halogens in the same way. Once the mechanism is understood for one (like chlorine) you know how it works with bromine as well. Once it is clear for one Alkane it's the same with all the others. So it is with the Alkenes.


    If I understand you right, you are saying that it's either all about trial and error or strict reproduction of already known experiments described in (old) books.
    Yes, the theories are just abstract conjectures designed to try to "explain" the observable facts. You can do without the theories, but the reverse is NOT true: you CANNOT do without empirical facts!

    Those imo are veritable methods. But they are not the only ones. You too have admited that TNT can also be made with benzene and halogenomethane. Though not practical it is possible. And I found out through my knowledge of the theory. So it is proven that there are in fact other methods than trial and error and strict reproduction that do work.
    As long as what the theory "predicted" finds backing in actual empirical results. Otherwise, no, it remains unproven conjecture, no matter how "good" the theory seems to be.


    There are sources in which that is much better described...

    With this source by Jim Clark, yes. I would look that up somewhere else. It's like reading a tabloid or a serious newspaper. Or a high school book compared to a college book (mine seem to contain more information than yours).
    But you can find other sources explaining the same theory WITHOUT BEING ACCOMPANIED BY ACTUAL EMPIRICAL DATA THAT SPECIFICALLY MENTION THE REAGENTS INVOLVED, THEIR PROPORTIONS, TEMPERATURE, ETC., and you are still just as much in the dark regarding how to actually make TNT. Example:

    http://www.chem.ucalgary.ca/courses/...12/ch12-1.html

    Go ahead and make TNT with that theory as your only source of info... GOOD LUCK!

    Thank god you are right.
    But another reason why those people can't easily do it is because it's a little more complicated. I bet you could not built a spacecraft after having read a book about rocket science. You need to understand it first, do some easy/minor calculations, then the more complicated equations to suck the whole theories up internally before you can do the actual more complicated stuff.

    Then you need the practical experience and the experience of the predecessors. That altogether imo gives the most accurate picture.
    I can easily take the theoretical baggage from this equation and it would still mostly work for chemistry. Same with alchemy & chymistry.


    And in this case, concerning transmutation attemps, there are no theories about in modern science. And since you reject all of the theories of the chymists and the alchemists, indeed all that you have left is trial and error and recipies.

    And I can comprehend that. But it's not true for chemistry in general.
    But it is. I challenge anyone to make, say, titanium tetrachloride, without actually reading a description on the actual practical procedures on how this is done. No amount of theories are going to teach you how to do this. You need descriptive directions for this. I can keep on multiplying the examples for ordinary chemistry. So, let alone with alchemy or chymistry. The difference is that chemistry DOES openly and clearly teach these procedures, so anyone can grab a lab manual and read how it's actually done. But the point is that if chemists didn't do this and adopted the attitude of the alchemists and most transmutational chymists and started obfuscating how to prepare such substances, not writing them in a totally clear manner, and dispensing their theories left and right instead, you would be left in a very similar situation as alchemy and transmutational chymistry, but with ordinary chemistry: forced to have to figure out some things on your own, which no amount of theories would clarify for you.

  8. #38
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    I must say that there are different kinds of chemistry books. The first kind is full of theory and, in my opinion, they aren't helpful for practical purposes.

    The second kind are practical books, which explain what you need to do for the reaction to happen: it is impossible to do most of those experiments without these explanations, operating only with formulas.

    There are also pharmacological books, containing direct descriptions of experiments, some of them contains passages like: "this substance can be randomly acquired by such and such process".

    Theory is pretty much useless, each reaction is unique and its outcome depends from many various circumstances.

    You won't make even gunpowder by following strictly theoretical books, nvm TNT. Some experiments (like with nitroglycerin) require good practical knowledge or you can die during the course of experiment, theory books are far beyond totally useless here.

    I'd also say that all scientific progress is happening thanks to artificers, who follow experiments and not theories. Theories are something which is made up in order to "scientifically" explain why such and such things are happening. And if theories are made up without any preceding practical experiments (e.g., black holes, calabi yau space and other such fantasies), they usually end up being a mere masturbation of the mind. Practice always comes first.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post

    But it is. I challenge anyone to make, say, titanium tetrachloride, without actually reading a description on the actual practical procedures on how this is done. No amount of theories are going to teach you how to do this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Warmheart View Post

    Theories[...]usually end up being a mere masturbation of the mind.
    This is not so easy like both of you want us make believe it is. I challenge you getting acquainted with these three principles/laws/equations:

    1. Le Chatelier's principle

    2. Hess's law

    and

    3. Gibbs-Helmholtz equation

    With the knowledge of these you can indeed explain and calculate the exact amount of energy/temperature and pressure needed to accomplish almost any desired chemical reaction. And it's not modern top notch chemistry but quite old as you can see.


    A good example of the application of these three laws/principles/equations is the discovery of a synthesis way of ammonia out of hydrogen and nitrogen by Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch.

    I confess there was a lot of tinkering / trial and error involved too, especially finding the right catalyst (interestingly an iron compound BTW), but it had been done with the help of these said three facts. Otherwise they would probably still sit today getting nothing but "hot air".

    And I confess that values are needed, that you need to look up in table works and have been previously found empirically. But you don't necessarily need to read about that special wanted reaction.

    I'm 100% sure TiCl4 can be obtained letting react the elements under proper conditions (pressure, temperature, catalyst). Having looked it up at Wikipedia I see that it's easier to do it with TiO2 (due to it's availability) elemental chlorine (like I thought) and Carbon (due to it's ability to get the oxygen atoms from the bonding with the metal). It's almost the same way like Copper is reduced out of Malachit but of course with the abscence of another oxidant like chlorine to get the elemental metal. Both reactions are relatively easy to predict redox reactions and the conditions can be calculated with the methods I posted above.
    Last edited by Florius Frammel; 10-01-2018 at 05:52 PM.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    This is not so easy like both of you want us make believe it is. I challenge you getting acquainted with these three principles/laws/equations:

    1. Le Chatelier's principle

    2. Hess's law

    and

    3. Gibbs-Helmholtz equation

    With the knowledge of these you can indeed explain and calculate the exact amount of energy/temperature and pressure needed to accomplish almost any desired chemical reaction. And it's not modern top notch chemistry but quite old as you can see.


    A good example of the application of these three laws/principles/equations is the discovery of a synthesis way of ammonia out of hydrogen and nitrogen by Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch.

    I confess there was a lot of tinkering / trial and error involved too, especially finding the right catalyst (interestingly an iron compound BTW), but it had been done with the help of these said three facts. Otherwise they would probably still sit today getting nothing but "hot air".

    And I confess that values are needed, that you need to look up in table works and have been previously found empirically. But you don't necessarily need to read about that special wanted reaction.

    I'm 100% sure TiCl4 can be obtained letting react the elements under proper conditions (pressure, temperature, catalyst). Having looked it up at Wikipedia I see that it's easier to do it with TiO2 (due to it's availability) elemental chlorine (like I thought) and Carbon (due to it's ability to get the oxygen atoms from the bonding with the metal). It's almost the same way like Copper is reduced out of Malachit but of course with the abscence of another oxidant like chlorine to get the elemental metal. Both reactions are relatively easy to predict redox reactions and the conditions can be calculated with the methods I posted above.
    As your own examples show, the theories do not solve the technical problems for carrying out the actual procedures. Experimentation does. That's the reason why you know that carbon removes oxygen from many (not all) metallic compounds, that chlorine is strongly reactive with most metals, and that some substances act as catalysts. None of this is any "theory" but observed empirical facts known to chemists, and sometimes even to the alchemists and chymists, since long before any such theories existed. If you eliminate these recorded empirical facts, the purely theoretical parts will tell you rather little about how to actually prepare these specific compounds. You need the experimental data that allows you to know what these substances involved in the processes do and how they behave.

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