By M. Morselli
Quantum refert in quae tempora vel optimi cujusque virtus incidet. (From an architrave at the Palatine.) The heritage of the advance of medical idea bargains a number of examples of unconventional, difficult and premature conjectures complex through vague males. The molecular speculation set forth via Amedeo Avogadro in 1811 is this type of. It was once little spotted while proposed and it quickly fell into oblivion. even if a number of makes an attempt were made long ago 100 years to spot the most purposes for the forget and the indifference which surrounded the molecular speculation, little or no attempt has been dedicated to displaying how historic conditions and Avogadro's personal character hindered the reputation of the options he had proposed. After part a century of severe medical task, Avogadro gave up the ghost as little identified in Italy as in another country. He had few shut neighbors and his own existence appeared headquartered on his huge kin and his paintings. outdoors this restricted circle, he refrained from social engagements and highbrow contacts. this perspective can have been inspired by means of the political state of affairs in Piedmont, his local nation, which remained basically adverse to highbrow task until eventually 1840, through which time Avogadro was once sixty-four. the single respite in Piedmont had come throughout the short-lived Napoleonic regime; and fairly remarkably, the molecular speculation was once conceived and released on the very finish of this period.
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Additional info for Amedeo Avogadro: A Scientific Biography
Universelle, 29 (1840), 142. 80. Between 1839 and 1847 nine national scientific congresses were held in Italy. Avogadro, however, attended only Turin. It is difficult to explain why he did not go, for instance, to Genoa in 1846 or Milan in 1844, unless there were health reasons. 81. Both were published in Memorie di Matematica e Fisica della Societa' Italiana di Scienze, 23 (1844), 156 and 260. For other works on this subject see for instanr-e A. Laurent in his Chemical Method (1854) and Gmelin in his Handbook (1852).
See C. Torta, La Rivoluzione Piemontese ne11821, vol. 7, 1908, Bibl. Stor. , p. 232. 65. See A. Manno, Informazioni sui Ventuno in Piemonte (Florence, 1879), p. 205. 66. This was a good conduct certificate which, with the approval of the local police authorities, was submitted every three months to the University administration by each student. 67. From the ledgers of the University of Turin it is shown that in 1822 Avogadro's salary was 1,700 Lire per year plus 300 Lire as former teacher in Vercelli.
However, no mention at all appeared on this occasion of the 1811 gas generalization, whose full significance would remain unrecognized in Italy as well as in the rest of the scientific world until the late 1860s. 9o One of the editors of Nuovo Omen to , Raffaele Piria, teaching chemistry at the University of Turin at the time of Avogadro's death, was in 1857 apparently unaware of the notion of polyatomic molecules postulated by Avogadro almost half a century earlier. 92 That was all. Yet it would be unfair to blame only his contemporaries for Avogadro's neglect.
Amedeo Avogadro: A Scientific Biography by M. Morselli