JEAN-LOUP CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JEAN-LOUP CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Two scientists in 1790 performing the 'recomposition of water' using Lavoisier's apparatus, after an engraving of 1860. The equipment showed that water was formed by the combustion of hydrogen in oxygen, with a ratio by volume of 2:1. From this, it was deduced that water consisted of hydrogen and oxygen in that ratio. The experiment was termed 'recombination' as the electrolysis of water had been shown to liberate two volumes of hydrogen to one of oxygen, the combustion reaction recombining the two gasses.
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