Chapter 12: Discovery of Hydrogen
According to the Western world, the greatest miracle of the Imam was his revelation of the presence of oxygen in the air. The western world admit now that the Imam discovered this twelve and a half centuries ago. Imam Baqar had said about the presence of hydrogen in water and that water can be turned into fire, as hydrogen was a highly inflammable gas. The discovery of these two gases depended upon their separation from air and water. Separation of hydrogen from water was more difficult that separation of oxygen from air. Pure oxygen is available in the air, but pure hydrogen is not available anywhere. Hence hydrogen could not be obtained till sufficient power was developed and water was hydrolysed. The world amazes as to how both our Imams could reveal the presence of hydrogen in air which was a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas and does not exist freely in nature. They could not have identifi! ed this gas and found out its properties without separating it from water through the process of hydrolysis, which was impossible without a strong current of electricity.
The first person who was able to separate hydrogen from water in modern times was the English scientist Henry Cavendish, who died in 1810.
After many years of research he was able to hydrolyse water and obtain hydrogen gas. He was also able to confirm that hydrogen gas was highly inflammable as a result of a freakish accident that he had while doing his experiments, which resulted in his house catching fire. It was eventually Lavoisier, the French chemist, who gave the name of hydrogen to this gas.
The Imams knew such secrets but revealed only to the extend that would be useful to the world, hence the secret of how hydrogen could be separated from water without the use of electricity was never made known to common man. It has been proved that this discovery by Man has not done any good to mankind. On the contrary, it has led to the production of the hydrogen bomb, which is threatening to annihilate the human race. It was better that this instrument of death, destruction and devastation was not invented and manufactured at all so that mankind would be saved from the impending catastrophe.