Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Antoine Lavoisier

Biography of Antoine Lavoisier
- Born on August 26, 1743 in Paris, France, Antoine Lavoisier was born to a wealthy family in Paris, he inherited a large fortune at the age of five with the passing of his mother. He attended the College Mazarin in 1754 until 1761. He studied chemistry, botany, astronomy and mathematics. His first ever chemical publication appeared in 1764At the age of 25, he was elected a member of the French Academy of Sciences, France`s most elite scientific society, for an essay on street lighting, and in recognition for his earlier research. In 1769, he worked on the first geological map of France. In 1771, at the age of 28, Lavoisier married the 13-year-old Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze, the daughter of a co-owner of the Ferme. He died on May 8, 1794 by being beheaded.

Antoine Lavoisier as a Chemist
- Antoine Lavoisier is also known as “The Father of Modern Chemistry”. He was a French nobleman prominent in the histories of chemistry and biology. He stated the first version of the Law of Conversion of mass, recognized and named oxygen in 1778 and also recognized and named hydrogen in 1783. He proved that oxygen played the major role in the differences in weight associated with combustion, disproving the accepted view of the Phlogiston Theory. He helped construct the metric system, wrote the first extensive list of elements, and helped to reform chemical nomenclature.


Phlogiston Theory 
"Burning up". It explain processes such as combustion and the rusting of metals. 

Law of Conversion of Mass
The law of conservation of mass, also known as principle of mass conservation is that the mass of a closed system (in the sense of a completely isolated system) will remain constant over time. The mass of an isolated system cannot be changed as a result of processes acting inside the system.
Mass cannot be created nor destroyed. Although it may be rearranged in space, and changed into different types of particles. This implies that for any chemical process in a closed system, the mass of the reactants must equal the mass of the products.

Common Gases: General Info

Oxygen (O2): Fire Air

- Lavoisier demonstrated the role of oxygen in the rusting of metal, as well as oxygen`s role in animal and plant respiration. Working with Pierre-Simon Laplace, Lavoisier conducted experiments that showed that respiration was essentially a slow combustion of organic material using inhaled oxygen.

Oxygen, which makes up about one fifth of our atmosphere, was originally given the names "fire air" and "dephlogisticated air”. It was discovered by Joseph Priestly who prepared it by heating the red oxide of mercury in 1774. However, while in modern terms the reaction was HgO + heat --> Hg +.5O2.


Hydrogen (H2) : Inflammable Air
- Lavoisier discovered that Henry Cavendish`s "inflammable air", which Lavoisier had termed hydrogen (Greek for "water-former"), combined with oxygen to produce a dew which, as Joseph Priestley had reported, appeared to be water. Lavoisier`s work was partly based on the research of Priestley.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) : Fixed Air
 - Carbon Dioxide was the first gas prepared and truly characterized as a pure substance. It was studied around 1750 by Joseph Black who named it "fixed air." Information about "fixed air" was recieved through the equation: 

limestone + acid --> a salt + fixed air

(modern equation: CaCO3 + 2HCL --> CaCl2 +H2O + CO2).

Pioneer of Stoichiometry
- Lavoisier`s researches included some of the first truly quantitative chemical experiments. He carefully weighed the reactants and products in a chemical reaction, which was a crucial step in the advancement of chemistry. He showed that, although matter can change its state in a chemical reaction, the total mass of matter is the same at the end as at the beginning of every chemical change


- Lavoisier`s fundamental contributions to chemistry were a result of a conscious effort. He established the consistent use of the chemical balance, used oxygen to overthrow the phlogiston theory, and developed a new system of chemical nomenclature which held that oxygen was an essential constituent of all acids (which later turned out to be erroneous). 

This is a short video of the contribution of Antoine Lavoisier in Chemistry.

“He is better known for what he has promised to the sciences than for what he as actually done for them.”
                                                              -Antoine Lavoisier

Submitted by:
Marj Mendoza
Roxy Trillanes
Eula Manibog
Isabella Meily
Djoseth Macomb

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