Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac Biography
(French Chemist and Physicist Who Discovered That Water is Made of Two Parts Hydrogen and One Part Oxygen)
Birthday: December 6, 1778 (Sagittarius)
Born In: Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat, France
Joseph Louis Gay Lussac was a French chemist and physicist who made notable advances in applied chemistry. He was noted for his pioneering investigations into the behavior of gases and for his studies of the properties of cyanogen and iodine. Born as the son of a successful lawyer, he had a privileged childhood that was rudely disturbed during the French Revolution of 1789 following which his father lost much of his fortunes. The revolution also delayed his education as the Abbey of Bourdeix who had been giving Joseph private tuitions fled the country in the midst of the political turmoil. Initially his father wanted him to become a lawyer though the young boy had always been more interested in scientific pursuits. A bright student, he was successful in entering the École Polytechnique, a newly founded institute where students’ expenses were paid by the state. This enabled him to get a quality education in spite of his family’s modest financial status. Eventually he went on to become a reputed chemist and physicist and gained much fame for his work on the behavior of gases. Throughout his career, he collaborated with other noted scientists like Jean-Baptiste Biot, Alexander von Humboldt, and Louis Thenard to come up with significant scientific achievements.