Amedeo Avogadro

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Lorenzo Romano Amedeo Carlo Bernadette Avogadro di Quaregna e Cerreto[1], Count of Quaregna and Cerreto (9 August 1776, Turin, Piedmont – 9 July 1856) was an Italian savant. He is most noted for his contributions to molecular theory, including what is known as Avogadro's law. In tribute to him, the number of elementary entities (atoms, molecules, ions or other particles) in 1 mole of a substance, 6.02214179(30)×1023
, is known as the Avogadro constant.

Contents

Biography

Amedeo Avogadro was born in Turin in 1776 to a noble family of Piedmont, Italy.

He graduated in ecclesiastical law at the early age of 20 and began to practice. Soon after, he dedicated himself to physics and mathematics (then called positive philosophy), and in 1809 started teaching them at a liceo (high school) in Vercelli, where his family had property.

In 1811, he published an article with the title Essai d'une manière de déterminer les masses relatives des molécules élémentaires des corps, et les proportions selon lesquelles elles entrent dans ces combinaisons ("Essay on Determining the Relative Masses of the Elementary Molecules of Bodies and the Proportions by Which They Enter These Combinations"), which contains Avogadro's hypothesis. Avogadro submitted this essay to a French journal, De Lamétherie's Journal de Physique, de Chimie et d'Histoire naturelle (Journal of Physics, Chemistry and Natural History) so it was written in French, not Italian. (Note: In 1811, northern Italy was under the rule of the French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte.)

In 1820, he became professor of physics at the University of Turin. After the downfall of Napoléon in 1815, northern Italy came under control of this kingdom.

He was active in the revolutionary movements of 1821 against the king of Sardinia (who became ruler of Piedmont with Turin as his capital). As a result, he lost his chair in 1823 (or the university officially declared, it was "very glad to allow this interesting scientist to take a rest from heavy teaching duties, in order to be able to give better attention to his researches")[citation needed].

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