Joseph Louis Proust, French chemist

Joseph Louis Proust, French chemist

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Credit: COLLECTION ABECASIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Joseph Louis Proust (1754-1826). 1867 illustration of the French analytical chemist Joseph Louis Proust. Proust is best known for the discovery in 1797 of the Law of Costant Proportions, also known as Proust's law, which stated that all compounds contain elements in certain definite proportions regardless of the mass of the elements involved and the conditions of their formation. Proust's law was strongly criticised by the French chemist Berthollet (1748-1822) and they became the protagonists of a famous controversy that lasted eight years. Proust became the Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Artillery College in Segovia, and then Director of the Royal Laboratories in Madrid.

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