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Antoine Lavoisier

"Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier"



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Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier (also Antoine Lavoisier after the French Revolution; French pronunciation: ​[ɑ̃twan lɔʁɑ̃ də lavwazje]; 26 August 1743 – 8 May 1794;[1]) was a French nobleman and chemist central to the 18th-century chemical revolution and had a large influence on both the history of chemistry and the history of biology.[2] He is widely considered in popular literature as the "father of modern chemistry".[3] [4]

It is generally accepted that Lavoisier's great accomplishments in chemistry largely stem from his changing the science from a qualitative to a quantitative one. Lavoisier is most noted for his discovery of the role oxygen plays in combustion. He recognized and named oxygen (1778) and hydrogen (1783) and opposed the phlogiston theory. Lavoisier helped construct the metric system, wrote the first extensive list of elements, and helped to reform chemical nomenclature. He predicted the existence of silicon (1787)[5] and was also the first to establish that sulfur was an element (1777) rather than a compound.[6] He discovered that, although matter may change its form or shape, its mass always remains the same.

Lavoisier was a powerful member of a number of aristocratic councils, and an administrator of the Ferme générale. The Ferme générale was one of the most hated components of the Ancien Régime because of the profits it took at the expense of the state, the secrecy of the terms of its contracts, and the violence of its armed agents.[7] All of these political and economic activities enabled him to fund his scientific research. At the height of the French Revolution, he was accused by Jean-Paul Marat of selling adulterated tobacco and of other crimes, and was eventually guillotined a year after Marat's death.

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Lavoisier shown conducting experiments in the 1770s with his solar furnace, an instrument that focused the heat of the sun using lenses which had a diameter of up to 1.32 meters. The lenses were made from curved sheets of glass with the internal space filled by vinegar. This furnace was intended to replace the need for fuel in experiments that needed heat, because of concerns about contamination from the fuel's combustion products. In one experiment, Lavoisier used the furnace to burn diamond in air in a glass jar. By analyzing the combustion products he was able to show that diamond was comprised solely of carbon. 

on October 6, 2016

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img Michael Gerandoy posted a review

"While studying for his law degree Lavoisier had maintained his interest in science, attending science lectures in addition to law lectures.

In 1764, the year he obtained his license to practice law, he also published his first scientific paper. In the same year he read a paper to the elite French Academy of Sciences. He was elected to the French Academy of Sciences in 1769, aged just 26."

on September 2, 2016
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Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier
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