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Antoine Lavoisier (1743-1794), French chemist. This drawing by his wife shows an experiment in human respiration. Lavoisier was instrumental in the use of accurate measurement for the study of the composition of materials and combustion reactions. It was Lavoisier who deduced the contribution of oxygen in the air to combustion, and that air consists of oxygen and nitrogen. His book "Methods of Chemical Nomenclature" of 1787 set the method of naming substances by their composition of elements which is still used today. Lavoisier was guillotined by French revolutionary radicals in 1794 on farcical charges made by his life-long rival Marat.
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