Lavoisier gets the chop


On this day in 1794 French revolutionaries tried, convicted and guillotined Antoine Lavoisier (shown here with his wife Marie-Anne). Lavoisier collected taxes for the French crown. He was also one of history’s most notable chemists. He discovered that combustion is a chemical reaction involving oxygen, he predicted the existence of the element silicon and he established the concept of chemical elements. Lavoisier’s painstaking quantitative experiments led him to propose that mass is conserved in chemical reactions. His Elementary Treatise on Chemistry (1789), which summed up his research, is regarded as the first modern chemistry textbook. Via Physicstoday

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