Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac (1778-1850)

Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac was regarded as one of the most capable and reliable experimenters in all of Europe at the time.

Gay-Lussac was one of those rare figures would crossed the border between physics and chemistry very easily, becoming Professor of Chemistry at the Ecole Polytechnique and Professor of Physics at the Sorbonne.

His early work in physics concerned the thermal expansion of gases. In 1804 he made legendary balloon ascents (in collaboration with Jean-Baptiste Biot), once reaching a height of 7,000 meters, making valuable physical measurements and bringing back a sample of air for chemical analysis. In 1808 he discovered the law of combining volume of gases, which gave him an interesting theoretical dilemma between Daltonian atomic theory and Berthollet's affinity theory. He was also renowned as an analytical chemist, for his precise and ingenious experimental methods as well as his investigations of many particular substances.

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