Claude Louis Berthollet

Picture of Claude Louis Berthollet

Date of Birth: 09/12/1748

Age: 73

Place of birth: Talloires (Savoie)

Citizenship: France


French chemist Claude-Louis Berthollet (1748-1822) was a colleague and collaborator of Lavoisier, a medical doctor and private physician at the court of the Duke of Orleans, a member of the Paris Academy of Sciences, a government inspector of public dyeing factories, superintendent of the mint, and finally Napoleon`s scientific advisor.

Berthollet, whose homeland - Talloires in Savoy, studied medicine in Turin, where he received his diploma in 1770. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Paris, where he began his academic career as a doctor. Simultaneously, he studied chemistry under the guidance of famous French scientists Macaire and Bouquet.

After 1786 he became friendly with Lavoisier; with him and two other eminent scientists - Guyton de Morveau and Furkrua - Berthollet developed the fundamentals of chemical nomenclature and classification of substances.

As soon as Napoleon`s star shone, Berthollet followed him in the Egyptian campaign. Emperor showered him with honors, appointed senator and awarded him the title of count, but that did not stop Berthollet as a member of the Senate, to vote in 1814 for the resignation of Napoleon. After the restoration of the monarchy Berthollet has managed not only to retain all their privileges, but also to get a peerage of France.

During the Revolution and the Empire Berthollet engaged in issues related to national defense, as well as applied chemistry (for example, dyeing cloth). He first used chlorine for bleaching paper and textiles, opened alkali metal hypochlorite and potassium chlorate ( "Berthollet salt") (1788). Furthermore, he has established the composition of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and tsianovodorodnoy acid.

He tied the idea of ??the mass with chemical reactions and argued that the elements can be connected with each other in any ratio, depending on the mass of the reactants in his "Essay chemical statics" (1803). Against this conclusion was made by Proust. The concept of mass and its influence on the course of chemical reactions, however, was of great importance for the creation of chemical statics in the XIX century.

Berthollet was the founder Arkeyskogo society, whose writings be published from 1807 to 1817, he died in 1822 in Arcueil, where he created a laboratory was located.

Claude-Louis Berthollet, which, in the eyes of many contemporaries and descendants had a reputation as an unscrupulous and vain courtier and even defended his friend and Lavoisier`s colleagues when he was convicted and sentenced to death, was nevertheless a talented scientist and went down in history as the author of many chemical discoveries.