Antoine Lavoisier: Father of Chemistry

Antoine Lavoisier was a French scientist who made great discoveries in the field of chemistry. Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier was a prominent French chemist and a leading figure in the 18th century chemical revolution. He developed an experiment based theory of the chemical reactivity of oxygen and co-authored the modern system for naming chemical substances. Antoine Lavoisier had an immense passion for this branch of science. His greatest contributions helped broaden the field of chemistry, especially towards understanding the tiniest of particles. Antoine Laurent Lavoisier is considered as the Father of Chemistry.

Birth and Early Life

Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier was born on August 26, 1743 in Paris, France. He was the first child and only son of a wealthy bourgeois family living in Paris. As a kid he exhibited an immense studiousness and concern for the public good. After being introduced to the humanities and sciences at the prestigious Collège Mazarin, he studied law. His interest in chemistry, aroused undoubtedly by his great teacher, G.F. Rouelle, surpasses his enthusiasm for a legal career. At the age of twenty-one, although fully trained for the legal profession and admitted to the French bar, Lavoisier dedicated his life to science and by 1765 his first scientific paper was presented to the Académie des Sciences.

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Contribution to Chemistry

Lavoisier had a huge influence on the history of chemistry and many people consider him as the “father of chemistry”. Given below are the few major contributions by Antoine Lavoisier in the field of Chemistry.

  • Oxygen theory of combustion.
  • He put forward the influential oxygen theory of combustion.
  • Lavoiser established that water was a compound and not an element.
  • He co-discovered that respiration is a form of combustion.
  • Antoine Lavoisier co-authored the first modern system of chemical nomenclature.
  • He is credited with establishing mass conservation in chemical reactions.
  • Lavoiser discovered that sulfur is an element and that diamond is a form of carbon.
  • Antoine Lavoisier is the one who wrote the first modern textbook on chemistry.
  • He contributed in the adoption of the metric system

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Father of Chemistry: Different Branches

Those known as the father of a scientific field in chemistry are considered to be the founder of that scientific field. In some fields several people are considered the founders, while in others the title of being the “father” is debatable.

Subject Father Reason
Atomic theory (early) Democritus Founder of atomism in cosmology
Atomic theory (modern) Father Roger Boscovich First coherent description of atomic theory, well over a century before modern atomic theory emerged First scientific description of the atom as a building block for more complex structures
Chemical thermodynamics (modern) Gilbert Lewis, Willard Gibbs, Merle Randall, and Edward Guggenheim (founders) Books: Thermodynamics and the Free Energy of Chemical Substances (1923) and Modern Thermodynamics by the Methods of Willard Gibbs (1933); because of the major contributions of these two books in unifying the applications of thermodynamics to chemistry
Chemistry (early) Jabir ibn Hayyan (Geber) Introduced the experimental method in alchemy (d. 815)
Chemistry (modern) Antoine Lavoisier Robert Boyle Jöns Berzelius John Dalton (founders) Book: Elements of Chemistry (1787) Book: The Sceptical Chymist (1661) Development of chemical nomenclature (1800s) Revival of atomic theory (1803)
Nuclear chemistry Otto Hahn Book: Applied Radiochemistry (1936) First person to split an atomic nucleus (1938) Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovery of nuclear fission (1944)
Periodic table Dmitri Mendeleev Arranged sixty-six elements (known at the time) in order of atomic weight by periodic intervals (1869)
Physical chemistry Svante Arrhenius Wilhelm Ostwald Hermann von Helmholtz Willard Gibbs (founders) Devised much of the theoretical foundation for physical chemistry through their publications off, On the Equilibrium of Heterogeneous Substances(1876), and Thermodynamik chemischer Vorgange(1882)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Who is known as the Father of Chemistry?

Ans. The Father of Chemistry is Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier.

Q. When and where was Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier born?

Ans. Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier was born on August 26, 1743 in Paris, France

Q. Who is known as the Father of Periodic Table?

Ans. Dmitri Mendeleev is known as the Father of Periodic Table

Q. What is Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier most noted for?

Ans. Lavoisier is most noted for his discovery of the role oxygen plays in combustion. He recognized and named oxygen (1778) and hydrogen (1783)

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