Zhozef-Lui Prust

Zhozef-Lui Prust

French chemist
Date of Birth: 26.09.1754
Country: France

  1. Biography of Joseph-Louis Proust
  2. Contributions in Spain
  3. Legacy and Death

Biography of Joseph-Louis Proust

Joseph-Louis Proust was a French chemist and member of the Paris Academy of Sciences (1816). He was born on September 26, 1754, in Angers, to a family of pharmacists. Proust studied at the University of Paris. In 1775, he was appointed as the director of the pharmacy at the Salpêtrière Hospital. In 1777, he received an invitation to the newly established Royal Seminary in Vergara, Spain, to teach chemistry and metallurgy. In 1785, King Charles III of Spain invited Proust to become a professor of chemistry at the Artillery School in Segovia. Proust later held positions as the head of chemistry departments at the University of Salamanca (1789) and the University of Madrid (1791-1808). He established a laboratory and collected a valuable collection of minerals and reagents. However, during the invasion of Napoleon's troops in Madrid in 1808, Proust's laboratory and collection were destroyed, and he returned to France. In 1816, the scientist was elected a member of the Paris Academy of Sciences.

Contributions in Spain

While in Spain, Proust conducted research on the properties and composition of various metal compounds, including tin, copper, iron, nickel, and others. He demonstrated that many compounds are not oxides but hydroxides, and he was the first to propose the term "hydrate." Proust also isolated glucose from grape juice. His study of the composition of various metal oxides, chlorides, and sulfides (1797-1809) laid the foundation for his discovery of the law of constant composition of chemical compounds (1806). Proust's opponent in this debate was his fellow countryman, the renowned chemist C. Berthollet. The intense discussion between the two scientists lasted from 1801 to 1808 and ultimately ended in Proust's favor.

Legacy and Death

Joseph-Louis Proust passed away on July 5, 1826, in Angers. His contributions to the field of chemistry, particularly his discovery of the law of constant composition, solidified his place in scientific history. Proust's meticulous research and dedication to his field continue to inspire chemists and scientists worldwide.