Father of Chemistry: Know About Antoine Lavoisier

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Feb 18, 2022, 10:01

Antoine Lavoisier was a French chemist who was born on 26th August 1743 in Paris, France. He identified elements, characterized properties of matter, contributed to modifying and standardizing chemistry nomenclature, and made numerous other contributions to the study of chemistry, which is why he is dubbed the "Father of Modern Chemistry."

Lavoisier was a member of several aristocratic councils and the Ferme générale's administrator. He was able to fund his scientific research thanks to his political and economic endeavours. He was guillotined at the height of the French Revolution, accused of tax fraud and peddling contaminated tobacco.

Antoine Lavoisier's Education

Lavoisier inherited a large fortune when his mother died, as the son of a lawyer at the Parlement of Paris. At the age of 11, he enrolled in the Collège des Quatre-Nations at the University of Paris (also known as the Collège Mazarin). His scientific interests were piqued during his final two years in the school (1760–1761), and he studied chemistry, botany, astronomy, and mathematics.

In philosophy class, he was mentored by Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille, a renowned mathematician and observational astronomer who instilled in young Lavoisier a passion for the meteorological observation that he never lost. Lavoisier enrolled in law school and graduated with a bachelor's degree. He was admitted to the bar and got a law degree, but he never practised law. In his leisure time, he completed his scientific education.

Scientific Work by Antoine Lavoisier

Lavoisier took part in various natural science seminars. Étienne Condillac, a notable French scholar of the 18th century, impacted Lavoisier's enthusiasm and passion for chemistry.

He also studied geology under Jean-Étienne Guettard from 1763 to 1767. In June 1767, Lavoisier collaborated with Guettard on a geological survey of Alsace-Lorraine.

In 1764, he presented his first paper on the chemical and physical properties of gypsum (hydrated calcium sulfate) to the French Academy of Sciences, France's most prestigious scientific society. In 1766, he was awarded a gold medal by the King for an essay on the problems of urban street lighting. Lavoisier was appointed to the Academy of Sciences on a transitory basis in 1768.

Sponsorships by Antoine Lavoisier

It was difficult to secure public funding for the sciences at the time, and it was also not very profitable for the average scientist, so Lavoisier used his wealth to open a very expensive and sophisticated laboratory in France so that aspiring scientists could study without the obstacles of securing funding for their research. 

He also advocated for public science education. He established two organizations, Lycée and Musée des Arts et Métiers, to serve as public educational resources. The Lycée, which was founded in 1793 and was funded by the wealthy and nobility, began offering public courses in 1793.

Lavoisier's Contributions to Chemistry

  1. He proposed the now-famous oxygen hypothesis of combustion.
  2. Water, according to Lavoiser, is a compound, not an element.
  3. Lavoisier co-authored the first modern chemical nomenclature system.
  4. He demonstrated mass conservation in chemical reactions.
  5. According to Lavoisier, sulphur is an element, and diamond is a kind of carbon.
  6. He wrote the first modern chemistry textbook.
  7. He helped make the metric system a reality.
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FAQs About Father of Chemistry

  • Who is the father of Chemistry?

Antoine Lavoisier is the father of Chemistry.

  • Who wrote the first modern chemistry textbook?

Antoine Lavoisier wrote the first modern chemistry textbook.

  • When was Antoine Lavoisier born?

He was born on 26th August 1743.