Who is Antoine Lavoisier?
Well to sum it up as simple as possible, Antoine Lavoisier was known as the “Father of Modern Chemistry.” As you may know, a title like that isn’t just given to anyone—Lavoisier was a great man, which truly deserves that title. Lavoisier was born to a wealthy family in Paris on August 26, 1743. He was a French nobleman, famous for his tireless and prominent work in the fields of chemistry and biology. He found and termed both oxygen in 1778 and hydrogen in 1783, helped construct the metric system, put together the first extensive list of elements, and helped to reform chemical nomenclature. He was also the first to establish that sulfur was an element rather than a compound in 1777. He discovered that, although matter may change its form or shape, its mass always remains the same.
Growing up Lavoisier was an ideal student, he received many awards, and he also conducted many of his first serious experiments, either on his own, or assisting his teachers, foreshadowing to his bright future. In addition to his scientific schooling, Antoine Lavoisier studied law, earning a bachelor's degree and a license to practice in 1764.
In 1771, Antoine Lavoisier married Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze, a bright young woman who helps Lavoisier with his experiments, expertly illustrating them, and recording them for analysis and publication. She even took it upon herself to learn English, so that she could keep in touch with the scientific developments which were taking place in England. One could say that Marie-Anne was Lavoisier's scientific partner and equal,
Later on in Lavoisier life he fell in love with a few elements that we know of as oxygen and hydrogen. Lavoisier demonstrated the role of oxygen in a few ways; through the rusting of metal, and through oxygen's role in animal respiration, and plant photosynthesis. Working with Pierre-Simon Laplace, Lavoisier conducted experiments that showed that respiration was essentially a slow combustion of organic material using inhaled oxygen
One of Lavoisier’s most famous books: Elementary Treatise on Chemistry, 1789, translated into English by Scotsman Robert Kerr) is considered to be the first modern chemistry textbook. It presented a joined view of new theories of chemistry, contained a clear statement of the law of conservation of mass, and denied the existence of phlogiston. This text clarified the concept of an element as a substance that could not be broken down by any known method of chemical analysis, and presented Lavoisier's theory of the formation of chemical compounds from elements.
At this point in time The French Revolution had been raging on for three years, and in 1791, Antoine Lavoisier, along with the other Fermiers, was subjected to revolutionary activist Jean-Paul Marat's poison pen. Lavoisier left the Royal Arsenal, and was forced to resign from his post with the Gunpowder Commission, he would then be accused of having tried to replace the current stocks of gunpowder with lesser quality gunpowder. On May 6, 1794, Lavoisier was tried before the Revolutionary Tribunal. The trial was a embarrassment, and lasted only two days, the entire time, his supporters cried out to the court to reconsider executing such a “man of genius and intellect”. Sadly, Lavoisier was condemned to die, and on May 8, 1794, at the age of 51, he was decapitated.Whether one knew who Antoine Lavoisier was, I’m sure we all can agree that he was a great man for what he has contributed to the world we live, without Lavoisier we would be living in a different world than today’s.