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Portrait of the French chemist Antoine Francois Fourcroy (1755-1809). Fourcroy was educated as a physician, obtaining his degree in 1780, but soon became interested in chemistry. He supported the revolutionary theories of another French chemist, Antoine Lavoisier, regarding the process of combustion and the law of the conservation of matter. This stated that in chemical processes matter is neither created nor destroyed. Fourcroy also collaborated with Lavoisier to establish the new chemical nomenclature. In the Napoleonic period he served as Minister of Public Instruction.
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