Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743-94) is one of the giants in the history of science. He was among the first to use quantitative methods in the study of reactions, and his classification of substances underlies the work of scientists even today. Perhaps Lavoisier's most significant achievement was his disproof of the phlogiston theory of combustion and his putting forward of the oxygen theory of combustion in its place. The phlogiston theory had long been a stumbling block to a true understanding of chemistry, and Lavoisier is one of the few scientists credited with bringing about a paradigm shift in Thomas Kuhn's famous book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962). large-set of memoires in physics and chemistry intended to support the Lavoisian scientific revolution. The printer was Lavoisier's friend Pierre Samuel Du Pont de Nemours, eventually the founder of the Dupont chemical factory in Delaware. For several reasons, including Lavoiser's execution by guillotine during the Reign of Terror, Du Pont was only able to print the first two volumes and the work was never officially published. In 1805 Lavoisier's widow circulated a few copies of the proofs among friends and distinguished scientists. Despite its rarity, the Memoires had a highly significant influence on 19th-century chemistry, in particular on the work of Berthollet and Biot.
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