Lavoisier, Antoine-Laurent


French scientist who is regarded as the father of modern chemistry. He introduced the term oxygen, and he formulated the law of conservation of matter, proving that when a burning substance combines with oxygen the weight of the products of combustion equals the original weight.

In 1775 Lavoisier was appointed a commissioner of the Royal Gunpowder Administration. He succeeded in producing more and better gunpowder by increasing the supply and ensuring the purity of the constituents: saltpeter, sulfur, and charcoal.

Lavoisier took part in the events leading to the French Revolution, and in its early years he drew up plans and reports advocating many reforms, including the establishment of the metric system of weights and measures. Despite his eminence, he came under attack as a former farmer-general of taxes and was guillotined in 1794

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Lavoisier Biography