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Antoine Lavoisier

             Antoine Lavoisier was one of the best-known French scientists and was an important government official. His theories of combustion, development of a way to classify the elements and the first modern textbook of chemistry led to his being known as the father of modern chemistry. He contributed to much of the research in the field of chemistry. He is quoted for saying, "Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed."" .
             Lavoisier was born in Paris, France on August 26, 1743. When he was eleven years old he attended a college called Mazain. For Lavoisier's last two years in college he found a great deal of interest in science. He received an excellent education and developed an interest in all branches of science, especially chemistry. Abbe Nicolas Louis de Lacaill taught Lavoisier about meteorological observation. On 1763 Lavoisier received his bachelor's degree and on 1764 a licentiate which allowed him to practice his profession. In his spare time he studied books all about science. His first paper was written about gypsum, also known by hydrated calcium sulfate, where he described its chemical and physical properties. He was elected to the French Academy of Sciences in 1768. On 1771 he married Marie Anne Pierrette Paulze. She helped Lavoisier by drawing diagrams for his scientific works and translating English notation for him. Unlike earlier chemists, Lavoisier paid particular attention to the weight of the ingredients involved in chemical reactions and of the products that resulted. He carefully measured the weights of the reactants and products. He noted that the weight of the air in which combustion occurred decreases. He found that when the burning material combined with the air somehow and that the air weighed less. .
             Lavoisier found that the weight of the products of combustion equals the weight of the reacting ingredients. This observation became known as the law of conservation of mass (or matter.

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