Chemistry is the study of matter, defined as everything with mass and occupied space, and the changes that matter may go through when exposed to various settings and situations. Chemistry is not only limited to scientific experiments but it’s involved in everyone’s daily life. It constitutes the betterment of society and humanity. There is some chemistry involved in everyday work. Chemistry holds an important role in many industries such as medicine, agriculture, engineering, etc.
Antoine Lavoisier, credited with revising and standardizing chemistry nomenclature, describing properties of matter, and many other significant contributions to chemistry.
Landed him the title of “Father Of Chemistry”.
Regarded as the “Father of chemistry”, Lavoisier was born in Paris in 1743. Being the son of a wealthy Parisian lawyer, he followed in his father’s footsteps and earned a law degree. His mother, Émilie Punctis, was an heir of a butchery business. Died at the age of 5, and she left her son a huge sum of money. However, despite his law degree, his true passion was science, which he studied with zeal while maintaining a busy public schedule.
He was elected to the Academy of Sciences, France’s most elite scientific body, in 1768, at the age of 25, based on his early scientific accomplishments, particularly in geology. He also worked as commissioner of the French Gunpowder Commission for many years.
He married Marie-Anne Pierrette Paul, the daughter of another tax farmer, a few years later when she was only 14 years old. Madame Lavoisier studied art and etching to portray Antoine-scientific Laurent’s discoveries as she prepared to be his scientific colleague. She contributed significantly to his studies by learning English, translating British scientists’ works like Joseph Priestley, and drawing pictures for her scientific publications.
Antoine Lavoisier, a scientist, aimed to categorize elements as metals or nonmetals in 1789. A German physicist noticed similarities in specific elements’ physical and chemical characteristics 40 years later. After finding that several qualities of the middle element, such as atomic weight and density, were near to the average value of these attributes in the other two elements in each triad, he named their triads.
With the printing of a new list of elements and their atomic weights at the first international chemistry conference in Karlsruhe, Germany, in 1860, a watershed event occurred. They concluded that hydrogen should have an atomic weight of one and that the atomic weights of other elements should be determined by comparing them to hydrogens. Carbon has an atomic weight of 12 because it is 12 times heavier than hydrogen.
Theory Of Combustion
Antoine Lavoisier recognized that when elements interact with something in the air, they gain weight. In 1774, a British scientist named Joseph Priestley extracted a component of air by heating mercury calx (oxide). He assumed it was a pure form of air because it efficiently aided respiration and combustion. Priestly coined “dephlogisticated air,” assuming that the lack of phlogiston was to blame for its peculiar qualities.
After he informed him of his discovery, Lavoisier repeated the experiment with mercury and other metal oxides. He discovered that air had two components: one that combined with the metal and supported breathing, and the other that did not. Lavoisier offered a new theory of combustion in 1778, defining combustion as the interaction of metal or organic material with the “eminently respirable” component of common air.
The next year, he gave the term “oxygen,” which is taken from Greek words that mean “acid generator.” Lavoisier’s discovery of the role of oxygen in combustion is one of his most significant achievements.
In 1772, Antoine Lavoisier and several chemists placed a diamond in a jar and focused the sun’s rays on it using a giant magnifying glass. The diamond was consumed by fire and vanished. According to Lavoisier, when diamond or charcoal was burned, neither created any water, and both released the same quantity of carbon dioxide per gram.
Consequently, he discovered that diamond is a crystalline form of carbon, thereby coining the phrase “chemical allotropy.” In 1777, Lavoisier undertook significant research on sulphur, discovering that it could not be broken down into simpler compounds. He was the first to demonstrate that sulphur was an element rather than a compound due to this discovery. Lavoisier hypothesized in 1787 that silica was an oxide of a fundamental chemical element, therefore foreshadowing the discovery of silicon.
First Textbook on Modern Chemistry
Traité élémentaire de chimie, Antoine Lavoisier’s most renowned book, was published in 1789. The findings backed Lavoisier’s oxygen hypothesis of combustion and ruled out the presence of phlogiston. It defines an element as a single material that cannot be broken down chemically and serves as the foundation for all chemical compounds. It featured an element list that served as the starting point for the modern element list.
The findings supported Lavoisier’s oxygen combustion hypothesis and ruled out the presence of phlogiston. It defines an element as a single material that cannot be chemically broken down and serves as the basis for all chemical compounds. It included an element list that served as the foundation for today’s element list.
The Law of Conservation of Mass
When Antoine Lavoisier found that mass is never created nor destroyed in chemical reactions, he formulated the Law of Conservation of Mass in 1789. To put it another way, the mass of any element at the start of a reaction will be the same as its mass at the conclusion. If all reactants and products are accounted for, the overall mass of any closed system will be the same at any point in time. The discovery of Lavoisier revolutionized science and set the foundation for modern chemistry.
The Law of Conservation of Mass holds valid because naturally occurring elements are very stable under the conditions found on the Earth’s surface. The bulk of elements is created by fusion reactions found only in stars and supernovae. As a result, atoms in the everyday world of Earth, from the pinnacle of the highest mountain to the depths of the deepest ocean, are not transformed into other elements during chemical processes.
As a result, the individual atoms that make up life and nonliving matter are incredibly old, and each atom has a history. An atom of carbon in the form of coal, which is the most important biological element of carbon, spends 65 million years buried in the form of coal. That coal is dug and burned in a power plant. After two decades of continuous burning and producing gases in the Earth’s atmosphere, it is dissolved in the ocean. It is then consumed by algal cells, copepods, or other similar organisms. At last, it is respired and returned to the atmosphere.
The gas that Henry Cavendish had recognized as a new element in 1766 was given the name “hydrogen” by Antoine Lavoisier in 1783. Cavendish dubbed the flammable substance air. With the aid of French mathematician Pierre Simon de Laplace, Lavoisier conducted a series of tests on water composition in 1783. The two employed hydrogen and oxygen jets in a bell jar over mercury to make “water in a very pure state.” Based on quantitative evidence, water was proven to be a mixture of two gases, hydrogen, and oxygen, rather than an element. Water has been viewed as an element by everyone since Aristotle included it in his four elements over 2,000 years ago, and this was a significant revelation. The reduction of oxides by inflammable air (hydrogen) generated by dissolving metals in acids and the inflammable air was explained by water’s interpretation as a compound.
Philosophy and Death
When the French Revolution occurred in 1789, Lavoisier, like many other philosophically-minded managers, saw it as an opportunity to rationalize and improve the nation’s politics and economics. On the other hand, upheavals quickly crushed such confidence, putting the state’s very survival in jeopardy. Lavoisier continued to advise Revolutionary governments on finance and other matters, perhaps overvaluing the authority of science and the power of reason. He and his wife did not flee abroad when popular anger turned against those who had wielded power and enjoyed social privileges under the previous regime.
As the Revolution became increasingly radical and those in authority were compelled to govern by terror, Lavoisier continued to argue that the Academy of Sciences should be saved. He was immediately imprisoned among other members of the General Farm when this last-ditch effort failed. The Republic’s royalist past was being wiped clean. In May 1794, Lavoisier, his father-in-law, and 26 other Tax Farmers were executed. “It took them barely an instant to remove that head, and a hundred years may not produce another like it,” a contemporary, Joseph-Louis Lagrange, stated, acknowledging Lavoisier’s scientific significance.
1. Who is the real father of chemistry?
The real father of chemistry is Antoine Lavoisier. He is known as the father of real chemistry because he listed elements, found oxygen is crucial for combustion, described the properties of matter, and helped to standardize and revise nomenclature in chemistry. Students should remember why he is known as the father of chemistry as it is one of the major questions asked in the board and competitive exams.
2. Who is known as the father of chemistry in India?
Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray is the father of Chemistry in India. He is a Bengali chemist, historian, industrialist, educationist, and philanthropist. He founded India’s first pharmaceutical company, Bengal Pharmaceuticals, and is the author of the famous book, A History of Hindu Chemistry from the Earliest Times to the Middle of the Sixteenth Century. He was credited for his thesis and comprehensive research on chemical nitrates.
3. Is there any difference between the father of Chemistry and the father of modern chemistry?
There is no difference between the father of chemistry and the father of modern chemistry. Both are the same. Antoine Lavoisier is known as the father of chemistry as well as the father of modern chemistry. The terms can be used interchangeably for Antoine Lavoisier. Students must make sure they do not get confused if these terms are asked in any competitive exam or board exam.
4. Who is the father of nuclear chemistry?
Otto Hann was a German chemist who is profoundly known as the father of nuclear chemistry. He contributed to the fields of radioactivity and radiochemistry and thus, is known as the godfather of nuclear fission. He discovered the isotopes of thorium, radium, uranium, and protactinium in the early 20th century. Moreover, he discovered how atomic recoil and nuclear isomerism work. Based on his discovery of nuclear fission, present-day nuclear reactors work in many countries to produce electricity.
5. Who is known as the father of medicine?
Imhotep is known as the father of medicine. At times, he is confused with the father of ‘real’ chemistry; however, he is the father of medicine. Since medicines are also chemicals or made with chemicals, he is confused with the same. He was an Egyptian polymath, architect, physician, mathematician, poet, and astronomer.
6. What is the grandfather of chemistry?
Robert Burns Woodward is known as the grandfather of chemistry. He worked predominantly on synthetic organic chemistry and contributed to the same field. He gave the procedure of synthesizing complex natural products and determining their molecular structure. For these works, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1965.