Vanessa Calanche Ody Frausto Antoine Laurent Lavoisier
Table of Contents - Life - Works - References
Life • Antoine Laurent Lavoisier was born on August 26, 1743 in Paris. • His father, Jean Antoine Lavoisier worked as a prosecutor. • His mother, Emillie Punctis was the daughter of an advocate. • Antoine grew up in Maras, known as a quite part of Paris; with his only sister Marie. • His mother died in 1748, the family moved into his grandmother’s house.
Antoine’s father did not re-marry, he was fully devoted to the upbringing of his children. • Antoine had very few friends; he developed a special friendship with his father, which greatly affected his life. • Antoine lived at his grandmother’s house for the next twenty three years until his marriage in 1771. • During his school years from 1754 - 1760 he won awards in languages, and was granted a special prize for his great effort and hard work.
- In 1760, his sister Marie died at the age of 15. The praise by others at school helped Antoine cope with the loss of his sister, Marie. - Antoine attended the college at Mazarin to study chemistry, astronomy, biology, and mathematics. - Antoine’s family consisted of lawyers, but this was not in his interest. • - Lavoisier left college in 1761, because his father wanted him to study law. He graduated with a law degree in 1764. • Antoine had much more interest in meteorology and science. • He observed the work of miners and metallurgists.
In 1768, at a young age of 25, he accepted office as a Farmer – General of Taxes, and as a chemist at the Royal Academy of Sciences, the most elite science society. • Accepting Farmer-General of Taxes; he used his income to finance his experiments. • A few years later he married the daughter of another tax farmer, Marie Anne who was only 13 at the time. • Antoine Lavoisier was appointed regional inspector for the Tobacco Commission. • His only dream in life was to make France the richest country in Europe by spreading technical education.
Works • Lavoisier’s work was the result of extending and coordinating the research of others. • Showed air is a mixture of gases by demonstrating oxygen is required for combustion, rusting, and respiration. • Opened the way for organic • chemistry by inventing a method of analyzing organic bodies by combustion. • Wrote about oxygenating and deoxygenating sugars to produce alcohol. • Gave chemistry it’s first general laws and made it a science.
Worked to improve economic and social conditions in France. • Expressed one of the first laws of the psychology of exertion and invented the measurement of the heartbeat. • Clearly described the role of oxygen in the respiration of animals and plants. • Invented calorimeter, tool used to measure the heat released by an animal. • In his experiments using the calorimeter he was able to • establish theories concerning respiration, movements, and digestion. • His concern for public health led him towards medicine, physiology, and biology.
Conducted experiments to establish the composition of water and organic compounds. • Produced experiments on perspiration and the waterproofing of fabrics, these experiments led to medical considerations. • Meteorology was his specialty. • Introduced a universal measuring system, the decimal system. • First to introduce effective methods of chemical reactions. • He tried to establish agricultural experiment stations to improve the farming methods in France. • In 1775, he was appointed director of the Gun Powder Commission.
He was appointed as one of the four commissioners for Gun Powder and Saltpeter Administration, in 1776. • Lavoisier was nominated as the director of the Government Powder Mills, in 1776. • In 1777, he published his experiments on animal respiration and the changes occurring when air passes through the lungs. • Lavoisier became an important landowner by successive acquisition of land, in 1778. • In 1785, he became a member of the Committee on Agriculture • and was appointed the director of the Academy of Sciences. • Proved the law of the conservation of matter.
He became a member of the Commission on Weights and Measurers and Commissioner of the Treasury, in 1790. • In 1791, Lavoisier was nominated as a member of the Bureau of Consultation of Arts and Crafts. • Lavoisier devoted three months at the Advisory Boards for Arts and Trades for perfecting the fabrication of counterfeit paper currency, in 1793. • On May 8, 1794, during The Reign of Terror, the greatest head of science was severed by the guillotine. • He was charged with“incivism”, the damaging of public health. • Antoine Laurent Lavoisier died at the age of fifty one.
References • Internet source: http://www.top-biography.com/9119-Lavoisier/index1.htm • Encyclopedia source: The World Book Encyclopedia Volume 10/Field Enterprises Educational Corporation. Chicago, IL : c1958 • Book source: The Cautionary Scientists/ Kenneth S. Davis: c1912 • Scientific period source: The French Revolution sourcebook/edited by John Hardman. London; New York: Arnold, 1999.