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Biography And Works Of Henry Louis Le Chatelier

2660 words - 11 pages


While researching the greatest chemists that have ever lived, I could not help but notice one who was missing from the list. Boyle, Mendeleev, and Lavoisier were on everyone’s list; and rightfully so, but I believe that people overlook the outstanding work of Henry Louis Le Chatelier. Le Chatelier studied chemistry extensively in school and made great discoveries as a teacher of the science at colleges in France. He is most known for the principle named after him: Le Chatelier’s Principle, which I will go into detail with later in the paper. My goal in this paper is to bring to light the significance of Le Chatelier’s life and his work in the field of chemistry and science.
To achieve this goal I have organized my paper into four sections. The first will detail Le Chatelier’s childhood and personal life so that who can understand what shaped him into the man he became and his goals in life. The second section will feature his career and scientific work. The third section will describe Le Chatelier’s principle which used by chemists to predict the effect a changing condition has on a system in chemical equilibrium. To finish, the last section will inform you of his later years and the decorations he received. The final page of my paper will be a works cited page and I will also include in-text citations to cite you to the works I have used.
Childhood and Personal Life
Le Chatelier was born on October 8, 1850 in Paris to his parents Louis Le Chatelier and Louise Durand. His mother was in charge of raising the children and his father was a French engineer who was an important figure to the start of the French aluminum industry. He also introduced the Martin-Siemens processes into the iron and steel industries, and played an important role in the rise of railway transportation (Lette). Both of his parents had relatives who worked in the fields of arts and sciences. Louis Le Chatelier’s career will greatly influence Henry Louis’s future. Henry Louis had a sister named Marie and four brothers named Louis, Alfred, George, and Andre. (Lette)
Le Chatelier had a very strict upbringing by his mother who raised the children by a regimen described by Henry Louis: "I was accustomed to a very strict discipline: it was necessary to wake up on time, to prepare for your duties and lessons, to eat everything on your plate, etc. All my life I maintained respect for order and law. Order is one of the most perfect forms of civilization (L. Guillet)”. As a child, Le Chatelier attended College Rollin where he studied engineering (Henry Louis Wiki). When he turned 19, after only one year of instruction in specialized engineering, he followed in his dad's tracks by enrolling in the Ecole polytechnique on October 25, 1869. Like all the scholars of the school, in September 1870, Le Chatelier was named second lieutenant and took part in the Siege of Paris against the German and Prussian forces. After dazzling achievements in his technical schooling, he entered the...

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