World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac

Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac
Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac
Born 6 December 1778 (1778-12-06)
Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat
Died 9 May 1850(1850-05-09) (aged 71)
Paris, France
Nationality French
Fields Chemistry
Alma mater École polytechnique
Known for Gay-Lussac's law
Signature

Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac (French: ; also Louis Joseph Gay-Lussac; 6 December 1778 – 9 May 1850) was a French chemist and physicist. He is known mostly for two laws related to gases, and for his work on alcohol-water mixtures, which led to the degrees Gay-Lussac used to measure alcoholic beverages in many countries.

Contents

  • Biography 1
  • Achievements 2
  • Academic lineage 3
  • Publications 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6

Biography

Gay-Lussac was born at Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat in the present-day department of Haute-Vienne.

The father of Joseph Louis Gay, Anthony Gay, son of a doctor, was a lawyer and prosecutor, and worked as a judge in Noblat Bridge.[1] Father of two sons and three daughters, he owned much of the Lussac village and usually added the name of this hamlet of the Haute-Vienne to his name, following a custom of the Ancien Régime. Towards the year 1803, father and son finally adopted the name Gay-Lussac.[2] During the Revolution, on behalf of the Law of Suspects, his father, former king's attorney, was imprisoned in Saint Léonard from 1793 to 1794.

He received his early education at the hands of the Catholic Abbey of Bourdeix. Later, in the care of the Abbot of Dumonteil he began his education in Paris, finally entering the École Polytechnique in 1798. Gay-Lussac narrowly avoided conscription and by the time of entry to the École Polytechnique his father had been arrested (due to Robespierre's Reign of Terror). Three years later, Gay-Lussac transferred to the École des Ponts et Chaussées, and shortly afterwards was assigned to C. L. Berthollet as his assistant. In 1802, he was appointed demonstrator to A. F. Fourcroy at the École Polytechnique, where in (1809) he became professor of chemistry. From 1808 to 1832, he was professor of physics at the Sorbonne, a post which he only resigned for the chair of chemistry at the Jardin des Plantes. In 1821, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. In 1831 he was elected to represent Haute-Vienne in the chamber of deputies, and in 1839 he entered the chamber of peers.

Gay-Lussac married Geneviève-Marie-Joseph Rojot in 1809. He had first met her when she worked as a linen draper's shop assistant and was studying a chemistry textbook under the counter. He fathered five children, of whom the eldest (Jules) became assistant to Justus Liebig in Giessen. Some publications by Jules are mistaken as his father's today since they share the same first initial (J. Gay-Lussac).

Gay-Lussac died in Paris, and his grave is there at Père Lachaise Cemetery. His name is one of the 72 names inscribed on the Eiffel Tower.

Achievements

Gay-Lussac and Biot ascend in a hot air balloon, 1804. Illustration from the late 19th century.
  • 1802 – Gay-Lussac first formulated the law, Gay-Lussac's Law, stating that if the mass and volume of a gas are held constant then gas pressure increases linearly as the temperature rises. This is sometimes written as P = k T, where k is a constant dependent on the mass and volume of the gas and T is temperature on an absolute scale (in terms of the ideal gas law, k = n·R/V).
  • 1804 – He and Jean-Baptiste Biot made a hot-air balloon ascent to a height of 7,016 metres (23,018 ft) in an early investigation of the Earth's atmosphere. He wanted to collect samples of the air at different heights to record differences in temperature and moisture.
  • 1805 – Together with his friend and scientific collaborator Alexander von Humboldt, he discovered that the composition of the atmosphere does not change with decreasing pressure (increasing altitude). They also discovered that water is formed by two parts of hydrogen and one part of oxygen (by volume).
  • 1808 – He was the co-discoverer of boron.
  • 1810 – In collaboration with Louis Thenard, he developed a method for quantitative elemental analysis by measuring the CO2 and O2 evolved by reaction with potassium chlorate.
  • 1811 – He recognized iodine as a new element, described its properties, and suggested the name iode.[3]
  • 1824 – He developed an improved version of the burette that included a side arm, and coined the terms "pipette" and "burette" in an 1824 paper about the standardization of indigo solutions.[4]
  • In Paris, a street and a hotel near the Sorbonne are named after him as are a square and a street in his birthplace, Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat.

Academic lineage

Gravesite of Gay-Lussac
Academic genealogy
Notable teachers Notable students

Publications

  • Chemistry courses of the École Polytechnique, Vol.1&2
  • Lessons of Physics, Faculty of Sciences in Paris, (November 6, 1827, March 18, 1828)

References

  1. ^ Biographical Dictionary Ancient and Modern, Volume 16, Michaud
  2. ^ Biographical sketch by Gay de Vernon
  3. ^ Ede, A. (2006). The Chemical Element: A Historical Perspective.  
  4. ^ Rosenfeld, L. (1999). Four Centuries of Clinical Chemistry.  

Further reading

  • "Joseph Louis Gay-Lusac (1778–1850)—Physicist and Fire Balloonist".  
  • Partington, J. R. (1950). "J. L. Gay-Lussac (1778–1850)".  
  • Gay-Lussac, L. J.; von Humboldt, A. (1805). "Expérience sur les moyens oediométriques et sur la proportion des principes constituents de l'atmosphère".  
  • Crosland, M. (1978). Gay-Lussac, Scientist and Bourgeois.  
  • Biographical material from the American Chemical Society
  • Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac, French chemist (1778–1850) from the Encyclopædia Britannica, 10th Edition (1902)
  • Rue Gay-Lussac, Paris
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.