Antoine Lavoisier

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Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier (also Antoine Lavoisier after the French Revolution; (26 August 1743 – 8 May 1794); (French pronunciation: [ɑ̃twan lɔʁɑ̃ də lavwazje]), the "father of modern chemistry",[1] was a French nobleman prominent in the histories of chemistry and biology. He stated the first version of the law of conservation of mass,[2] recognized and named oxygen (1778) and hydrogen (1783), abolished the phlogiston theory, helped construct the metric system, wrote the first extensive list of elements, and helped to reform chemical nomenclature. He discovered that, although matter may change its form or shape, its mass always remains the same.

He was an investor and administrator of the "Ferme Générale" a private tax collection company; chairman of the board of the Discount Bank (later the Banque de France); and a powerful member of a number of other aristocratic administrative councils. All of these political and economic activities enabled him to fund his scientific research. At the height of the French Revolution he was accused by Jean-Paul Marat of selling watered-down tobacco, and of other crimes, and was guillotined.[3][4]

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