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phlogiston

The phlogiston theory (from the Ancient Greek φλογιστόν phlŏgistón "burning up", from φλόξ phlóx "flame"), first stated in 1667 by Johann Joachim Becher, is an obsolete scientific theory that postulated the existence of a fire-like element called "phlogiston", which was contained within combustible bodies and released during combustion. The theory was an attempt to explain processes such as combustion and the rusting of metals, which are now understood as oxidation. (wikipedia)

Actually the phlogiston idea is basically correct. When anything "burns" it is actually dissociating molecules into releasing a mixture of finer subatomic elements generally called plasma which we label flame or fire.

See Also

Akasa
Dissociation
Ether
Etheric Elements
Fire
Flame
Molecular Dissociation
Oxygen
Plasma

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