L.N. Vauquelin

L.N. Vauquelin

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Louis Nicolas Vauquelin (1763-1829), the French analytical chemist. From a poor background, he was discovered by the chemist A.F. de Fourcroy and went on to become professor of chemistry in Paris. In 1797 he examined the rare mineral crocoite (lead chromate) and succeeded in isolating from it a new metal which he named chromium. The next year he confirmed that the mineral beryl and emerald are chemically identical (being beryllium aluminosilicate). Again he realised that a new metal (beryllium) was present but this time he was unable to isolate it. Vauquelin was also the first person to find an amino acid; this was asparagine, which he derived from asparagus.

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Keywords: beryllium, chromium, discoverer of, louis nicolas, portraits, surname v, vauquelin

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