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Q & A: Lavoisier

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
who is antoine lavoisieh and with did he do in physical science
- Zenobia
phila pa usa
A:
Hi Zenobia-

I bet you mean Antoine Lavoisier, the famous French phycisist-chemist (1745-1794). He's best known for arguing that burning results from the combination of something (which he named 'oxygen') in the air with whatever is burning. Of course this is essentially the same as our modern understanding of the process.

Lavoisier was one of the people who did the most to establish the modern idea that chemicals are formed from combinations of some elements. In particular, he was among the first to show that the combination of oxygen and hydrogen gives water. He helped lead the commission which devised the metric system, the easy system of measures used throughout the civilized world, with one or two backward exceptions. These are only a few of his most important accomplishments.

His life was interesting. Although death at an early age was common in his time, his own death was not from natural causes. He was executed in the terror following the French revolution, which he had initially supported. The main charge was that he had been one of the hated tax collectors in the old regime.

Mike W.

(published on 10/22/2007)

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