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Pierre L. Dulong

Pierre L. Dulong

H404/0053

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Pierre Louis Dulong (1785-1838), the French chemist. Originally a physician, he moved into chemistry as the assistant to Berthollet. In 1811 he discovered the explosive nitrogen trichloride, losing an eye and two fingers in the process. From 1815 he worked with A.T. Petit on thermometry; and in 1819 they published Dulong and Petit's Law. This stated that the specific heat capacity of a solid element when multiplied by its atomic weight, gives a constant which they called the atomic heat. The law is only approximately observed, but it had some use in estimating atomic weights for new metals.

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