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Jan Baptista van Helmont

Helmont, Jan Baptista van (yän bäptĭsˈtä vän hĕlˈmônt) [key], 1577–1644, Flemish physician, chemist, and physicist. He attributed physiological changes to chemical causes, but his conclusions were colored by his speculative mysticism. He discovered carbon dioxide, distinguished gases as a class of substances (as contrasted with solids and liquids), and is credited with introducing the term gas in its present scientific sense. His chief work is Ortus medicinae (1648).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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