Antoine Lavoisier (1743-1794) Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (lah vwah ZYAY) was one of the
best-known French scientists and was an important government official. His theories of
combustion, his development of a way to classify the elements and the first modern textbook of chemistry led to his being known as the father of modern chemistry. He contributed to much of the research in the field of chemistry. He is quoted for saying, "Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed." Lavoisier was born in Paris, France on Aug. 26, 1743. When he was eleven years old he attended a college called Mazain. For Lavoisier's last two years in college he found a great deal of interest in science. He received an excellent education and developed an interest in all branches of science, especially chemistry. Abbe Nicolas Louis de Lacaill taught
Lavoisier about meteorological observation. On 1763 Lavoisier received his bachelor's degree and on 1764 a licentiate which allowed him to practice his profession. In his spare time he studied books all about science. His 1st paper was written about gypsum, also known by hydrated calcium sulfate. He described its chemical and physical properties. He was elected to the French Academy of Sciences in 1768. On 1771 he married Marie Anne Pierrette Paulze. She helped Lavoisier by drawing diagrams for his scientific works and translating English notation for him. Unlike earlier chemists, Lavoisier paid particular attention to the weight of the ingredients involved in chemical reactions and of the products that resulted. He carefully measured the weights of the reactants and
products. He noted that the weight of the air in which combustion occurred decreases. He found that when the burning material combined with the air somehow and that the air weighed less.
Lavoisier found that the weight of the products of combustion equals the weight of the reacting ingredients. This observation became known as the law of conservation of mass (or matter). He repeated many of the experiments of earlier chemists but interpreted the results far differently. On 1772 he was studying on combustion, which he is most known for in science. Lavoisier presented an important memoir on conversion of water into earth evaporation. This brought him to the Oxygen Theory of Combustion. On 1774 Lavoisier carried out experiments on calcinations of tin and lead and confirmed the increase of weight of metals on calcinations from combustion of air. By demonstrating the nature of combustion, he disproved the phlogiston theory. The phlogiston theory stated that all flammable materials contained a substance called phlogiston. According to
this theory, materials gave off phlogiston as they burned. Air was necessary for combustion because it absorbed the phlogiston that was released. This was...