Antoine Laurent Lavoisier

The Man who Took Something and Made it Better

The Birth of it All

Antoine was the first and only son of a wealthy class bourgeois family. Born on August 26, 1743. The son of Jean- Antoine Lavoisier, a advocate, and his wife Emilie Punctis. He was raised in Paris, France. As a youth he exhibited an unusual studiousness and he seemed to care for well being of the public. After his mothers death his family moved in with their grandmother. Lavoisier and sister were mainly raised by their aunt Mlle Constance Punctis. HIs aunt chose not to marry to devote her time to the children. At 11 in the year 1754 he was enrolled at the College Mazarin. There he conducted many of his first serious experiments.

When Science Came Knocking

Lavoisier's aunt knew the importance of a good education so as I said previously, she enrolled Antoine at the Collège Mazarin, which was renowned for its science and mathematics faculty. While at Mazarin, Lavoiser studied under astronomer Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille, geologist Jean-Étienne Guettard, botanist Bernard de Jussieu, and chemist Guillaume François Rouelle.Lavoisier was a good student, received many awards, and assisted many of his teachers with their experiments.Lavoisier soon realized his one true vocation was science, and he continued his studies in chemistry In 1768.(1)

Trials and Trebulations

Lavoisier had a disinterest in political and revolutionary events. He also had history of ‘tax farming’ for the ancient regime. This roused suspicion among radicals. By the early 1790s Lavoisier was being singled out for rumors and personal attacks. This were started mainly by Jean-Paul Marat. Despite being largely apolitical, Lavoisier was arrested. He was then tried and executed for conspiracy against the people of France.

The Result of Hard Work

Lavoisier did not receive a medal, but a medal was named after him. A Lavoisier Medal is an award for achievements in chemical related works. Lavoisier Medal are issued by French Chemical Society and International Society for Biological Calorimetric. The Lavoisier Medal is awarded to an internationally acknowledged scientist for an outstanding contribution to the development of direct calorimetry in biology and or medicine. The Lavoisier Medal for Technical Achievement is presented to DuPont scientists and engineers who have made outstanding contributions to DuPont and their scientific fields throughout their careers. Antoine Lavoisier mentored the founder of the company for more than 200 years ago

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The Father of Modern Chemistry

Antoine Lavoisier was one of the best-known French scientists. He had various theories of Combustion. He developed of a way to classify the elements. He also constructed the first modern textbook of chemistry. This all led to his being known as the father of modern chemistry.

Lavoisier believed that weight was conserved through the course of chemical reactions. He explained combustion in terms of chemical reactions that involve a component of air, Oxygen. An example of this would be H2O hydrogen atoms in a H molecule can combine with oxygen atoms in an O molecule to form H2O. But the number of hydrogen and oxygen atoms before and after the reaction is the same. The total mass of the products of a reaction therefore must be the same as the total mass of the reactants.

In the early stages of his research Lavoisier thought that the phlogiston theory as a useful hypothesis. He tried to find ways to prove the theory right. He wanted to prove it on an experimental foundation. Or he thought he could just replace it with an experimental theory of combustion. At the end of his efforts, his theory of oxygenation replaced the phlogiston theory. But it did take him many years and help from others to reach this goal.

The History of Oxygen - Antoine Lavoisier

Websites and Citations


  2. "Antoine Laurent Lavoisier." Britannica. EB, n.d. Web.


  4. "Antoine Laurent Lavoisier - The Gifted Student." Antoine Laurent Lavoisier. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2014.


  6. "Lavoisier." Lavoisier. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.


  8. Answers. Answers Corporation, n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2014.


  10. "Antoine Lavoisier." Antoine Lavoisier. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.


  12. "French Revolution Who's Who L-Z." French Revolution. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2014.


  14. "The History of Oxygen - Antoine Lavoisier." Vimeo. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2014.