Henri Moissan, French chemist

Henri Moissan, French chemist

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Caption: Henri Moissan (1852-1907), French chemist. Moissan won the 1906 Nobel prize for his work in isolating fluorine and for the discoveries made by his electric-arc furnace. This furnace, pictured in the image, was developed by Moissan after he theorised that diamonds could be synthesised by crystallising carbon under pressure from molten iron. The furnace achieved temperatures of 3,500 degrees celsius and produced tiny artificial diamonds. These conditions also allowed him to use it to prepare many new compounds, including carborundum (1891), and volatise many substances previously regarded as infusible.

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