Claude Berthellot, French chemist

Claude Berthellot, French chemist

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Credit: COLLECTION ABECASIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Claude Berthellot (1748-1822). 1865 illustration of the French chemist Claude Louis Berthellot. Berthellot graduated in medicine, but by 1780 his work in the new science of chemistry led to his admission to the French Academy of Sciences. He supported the theories of Lavoisier, but correctly disagreed with him by proposing that some acids do not contain oxygen. His book Essai de statique chimique (1803) was the first systematic work on chemical physics. He also worked on a wide range of chemicals, as well as dyes and gunpowder. Berthellot was a friend of Napoleon Bonaparte and was made a count (Comte Berthellot), but in 1814 he helped depose Napoleon as Emperor, 'for the good of France'.

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