Substantia <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Substantia</em> is a peer-reviewed academic international journal dedicated to the history and philosophy of Chemistry and edited by the University of Florence. Topics of interest include traditional and innovative perspectives in the development of Chemistry. Fundamentals and implications of chemical theories and related sciences, interdisciplinary works (highlighting the interconnections between Chemistry, other scientific disciplines, arts, technology, social and human sciences), contributions from unpublished sources are welcome. The journal is published open access and offers top quality original full papers, essays, experimental works, reviews, biographies and dissemination manuscripts. All contributions are in English.</p> en-US <ul> <li class="show">Copyright on any open access article in Substantia published by FUP is retained by the author(s).</li> <li class="show">Authors grant FUP a license to publish the article and identify itself as the original publisher.</li> <li class="show">Authors also grant any third party the right to use the article freely as long as its integrity is maintained and its original authors, citation details and publisher are identified.</li> <li class="show">The <a class="is-external" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0</a> formalizes these and other terms and conditions of publishing articles.</li> <li class="show">In accordance with our Open Data policy, the <a class="is-external" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Public Domain Dedication waiver</a> applies to all published data in Substantia open access articles.</li> </ul> <h4 style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</h4> (Pierandrea Lo Nostro) (Alessandro Pierno, Firenze University Press) Fri, 28 Sep 2018 12:00:51 +0000 OJS 60 Goodnight and Goodluck: The End of a Building at the Australian National University Barry W. Ninham ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 24 Sep 2018 15:09:32 +0000 The Lorenz-Lorentz Formula: Origin and Early History <p class="p1">Among the many eponymous formulae and laws met in textbooks in physics and chemistry, the Lorenz-Lorentz formula merits attention from a historical point of view. The somewhat curious name of this formula, which relates the refractive index of a substance to its density, reflects its dual origin in two areas of nineteenth-century physics, namely optics and electromagnetism. Although usually dated to 1880, the formula was first established in 1869 by L. V. Lorenz (optics) and subsequently in 1878 by H. A. Lorentz (electromagnetism). Apart from discussing the origin and priority of the Lorenz-Lorentz formula the paper outlines its early use in molecular physics and physical chemistry. During the late nineteenth century studies of molecular refractivity based on the formula proved important in a number of ways. For example, they led to estimates of the size of molecules and provided information about the structure of chemical compounds.</p> Helge Kragh  ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 24 Sep 2018 15:10:10 +0000 2001: The Crystal Monolith <p class="p1">In the famous movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”, Stanley Kubrick and Arthur Clarke claim that an extraterrestrial civilization catalyzed the evolution of hominids on our planet. To represent such a powerful civilization, they use a crystal. To date, it seems that we have not been contacted by advanced civilizations and that we are alone to manage our own future. Yet Kubrick and Clarke perhaps intuitively touched a truth about the power of crystals. An argument is developed here that genuine crystals, mainly quartz single crystals, were the earliest catalysts of the abstract thinking, symbolism, and consciousness.</p> Juan Manuel Garcia-Ruiz ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 24 Sep 2018 15:11:00 +0000 Almost a Discovery – Henri Gorceix, the Mining School of Ouro Preto, the Monazite Sand of Bahia and the Chemistry of Didymium <p>The chemical history of the supposed element didymium may well be characterised as a case of collecting empirical data in a period of “normal” science. But this element’s history also reveals little known facts of the history of chemistry in South America, such as the exploration and smuggling of monazite sands, and the difficult beginnings of scientific research and higher education in Brazil. Didymium is also a curious case: even after it was shown to be a mixture, it continued to be regarded as an element. This fact alone raises questions about the adequacy of scientific methodology at the time. In this paper, we consider the history of didymium, and determine how this history’s different facts and stories, set in Brazil’s rather unique historical and scientific context, intertwine thanks to the work of Claude Henri Gorceix.</p> Juergen Heinrich Maar ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 24 Sep 2018 15:11:28 +0000 Hydration of Silica and Its Role in the Formation of Quartz Veins – Part 1 <p>The crystalline forms of quartz and that it is insoluble are well known. The hydrolysis of silica and formation of polymeric silicic acids in slightly alkaline (pH 8.1 - 8.3) sea water is less well known and not recognised by many geologists. Silica is one of the most abundant components of ordinary sediments and the amorphous forms, the silica gels, have been closely studied. Their properties and behaviour are perhaps better known than those of many other colloids. Quartz veins are abundant in all types of sediments and in rocks and mineral deposits derived from them. Clearly if we study how silica is mobilised into these veins and lodes, how it silicifies wall rocks, forms opal, replaces shells and tree trunks, etc. then we may have a better basis for understanding how sulphide particles might similarly be mobilised into veins and lodes, permeate shales, form framboids, replace fossils and plant fragments or fine shale bands, etc. This article briefly summarises recent developments in the aqueous chemistry of silica. It emphasises the particulate nature of the amorphous silica species in order to update rather simplistic views that quartz veins and many other natural forms of quartz “crystallise directly from solution”. A number of features of quartz veins which are due to the particulate nature of natural polymeric silica are illustrated.</p> John Elliston ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 24 Sep 2018 15:11:58 +0000 Visualizing Chemistry. The Application of Chemical Imaging to Address Scientific Challenges in Space Research <p>Chemical Imaging helps to answer difficult questions, especially when those questions occur in complex environments. For instance, forensic neuroradiology plays an important role in the courtroom to understand a defendant’s personality. But could this branch of science be essential in human exploration of space? Even if no emergency has happened so far, NASA established a partnership in 2002 with the U.S. National Institute of Justice to promote the knowledge of investigative techniques in the case of a crime being committed on a space mission. Based on forensic neuroradiology and behavioral genetics, this article presents a brand-new study protocol for creating security procedures designed to safeguard astronauts engaged in long-duration space travel. Since 2009 in Italy, some individuals have been prosecuted who, although convicted of murder, benefitted from reduced sentences through the verification of some genetic polymorphisms and Computed Axial Tomography (CAT), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) results which showed brain malformations that may produce manifestations of violence. The protocol specifically uses chemical imaging and behavioral genetics to show how cerebellar anomalies and biological markers predictive of criminal behavior can trigger impulsive reactions in response to stress. This protocol may prove critical when space agencies are evaluating candidates for extra-orbital flights of long duration.</p> Vincenzo Lusa, Annarita Franza ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 24 Sep 2018 15:12:28 +0000 From morphine to endogenous opioid peptides, e.g., endorphins: the endless quest for the perfect painkiller <p>Opium was known since the Neolithic era and in 5th century wild Papaver use was reported to induce sleep and relieving pain. First active component isolated from Opium was morphine, the paradigm of a natural product discovered 150 years before isolation of endogenous opioid ligands, brain pentapeptide enkephalins. Since then many endorphin peptides and their mode of action were discovered. Native endorphins were characterized thanks to the synthetic antagonist naloxone.</p> Anna Maria Papini ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 24 Sep 2018 15:13:35 +0000 Gas Chromatography and Analysis of Binding Media of Museum Objects: A Historical Perspective <p>This contribution covers the major historic milestones of the evolution of gas chromatography (GC) from its beginnings to its current status as one of the most powerful analytical separation techniques, and demonstrates simultaneously how this technique has enabled and continuously improved the analysis of organic binding media in objects of cultural heritage. After an introduction into the basics of chromatography, the development of GC is traced from its emergence in the late 1800s as a mere preparative technique through a period of relative stagnation into the mid of the 20th century. Then, the 1950s are covered by highlighting the major advances in theory and technology within this decade, all of which contributed to firmly consolidate the status of GC as a modern analytical separation technique. From there the maturing of GC is followed through the 1960s up to the present days, a period being marked by the transition from packed to capillary columns; the essential adaptation of injection and detection devices; the replacement of glass by fused silica as column material; major progresses in stationary phase chemistry; and, finally, the advent of the hyphenation of GC with mass spectrometric detection devices. Throughout this survey, examples of applications of contemporary GC techniques to binding media analysis are discussed to provide an illustrative historic record of the continuous improvements achieved. The account will be closed with critical reflections on GC’s current relevance to and future role in the analysis of binding media in objects of cultural heritage.&nbsp;</p> Ernst Kenndler, Norbert M. Maier ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 24 Sep 2018 15:14:10 +0000 Exact Time: the First Scientific Application of Radiocommunications <p>Marconi’s first experiment of signal transmission by means of Hertzian waves was carried out in 1895. In the following years, wireless telegraphy progressed steadily and worldwide efforts were made to exploit the potential offered by new technologies. In those years Guido Alfani, a young Florentine Piarist teacher of promise in Seismology, joined the Ximeniano Observatory in Florence where he found the ideal environment for his experiments and his insights. He understood the importance of having the exact time in Seismology, to temporally characterize the telluric movements and therefore accurately characterize them. In 1910 when the Paris radio station located at the Tour Eiffel began regular broadcasts of exact time, he laid down the issue of its reception. As far as pendulums and chronometers were concerned, no doubt his expertise as seismologist was significant, while problems arose when it came to the radio station, due to the novelty of such situation. For this reason he arranged contacts and managed to set the first Italian radio station to be used in a weather station. Thus, on the night of March 16-17, 1912, he received for the first time the time signal for a particular scientific application. He wrote to Marconi and in 1912 Marconi expressed words of great appreciation and encouragement for such work. Father Guido Alfani’s radio station is certainly the first one applied in Seismology and among the first radios made in Italy. It is an extremely important application which demonstrated that the new technique could provide solutions in different situations.</p> Mario Calamia, Monica Gherardelli ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 24 Sep 2018 15:14:41 +0000 The dextrorotatory sweet asparagine of Arnaldo Piutti: the original product is conserved in Florence <p>In 1886, Pasteur presented a note on the work of the Italian chemist Arnaldo Piutti concerning the difference between the two physical isomers (enantiomers) of asparagine. The octahedral crystal of asparagine appeared only as “levorotatory hemihedralism” but, in principle, should also exist as a dextrorotatory asparagine with a symmetric crystalline form. In 1886 Arnaldo Piutti isolated the dextrorotatory asparagines while he was working as an assistant of Ugo Schiff in Florence. He obtained also another unexpected information, of which only Pasteur immediately understood the importance: the dextrorotatory aspargine had a sweet taste. The dextrorotatory sweet asparagine of Arnaldo Piutti is conserved in the Schiff Collection of the Department of Chemistry “Ugo Schiff” at the University of Florence, and is the first compound where a relationship between the optical isomerism of a molecule and a different response of human receptors, in this case the taste, was observed.</p> Laura Colli, Antonio Guarna ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 24 Sep 2018 15:15:09 +0000