Edinburgh, Scotland/edinburgh050

Previous | Home | Next

One of Black's laboratory bottles. Black's research on "fixed air" (carbon dioxide) was based on the preparation and decomposition of carbonates -- which in turn led to his recognition of the distinction between calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate. His classic research was published on "Magnesia Alba, Quicklime, and Some Other Alcaline Substances." Because the work had been submitted as a medical dissertation, he felt obligated to include a section on magnesia alba as a purgative and antacid. We know magnesia alba today as "Milk of Magnesia."