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Phlogiston

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Phlogiston was the 18 century's answer to the Elemental Fire of the Greek alchemists. Ignite wood, and let it burn. What is the orangey-bright "fire" stuff? Why does the wood transform into ash? To both questions, the 18th-century chemists answered, "phlogiston".

...and that was it, you see, that was their answer: "Phlogiston."

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