Antoine Lavoisier was one of the best known French scientists during the 1700’s. He became known as the father of modern chemistry. He named two of the most important things in science: oxygen and hydrogen. Not only did he do that, but he helped build the most widely used system of measurement, the metric system. Antoine also put together the first expansive list of elements.
In 1772 he was studying about combustion, which he is most known for in science world. Combustion is the chemical process in which a substance reacts with oxygen to produce heat and light, seen as a flame. Antoine offered an important memoir on conversion of water into earth evaporation. This brought him to the Oxygen Theory of Combustion. In 1774, Lavoisier carried out experiments on calcinations of tin and lead and confirmed the increase of weight of metals on calcinations from combustion of air. By demonstrating the nature of combustion, he disproved the phlogiston theory. The phlogiston theory stated that all flammable materials contained a substance called phlogiston. According to this theory, materials gave off phlogiston as they burned. Air was necessary for combustion because it absorbed the phlogiston that was released. Lavoisier showed this theory to be false and made oxygen the reason that things burned, not phlogiston.
Lavoisier was known to pay very close attention to the weight of the ingredients implicated in chemical reactions and of the products that resulted. He carefully measured the weights of the reactants and products. He noted that the weight of the air in which combustion occurred decreases. He found that when the burning material combined with the air somehow and that the air weighed less. Lavoisier found that the weight of the products of combustion equals the weight of the reacting ingredients. This observation became known as the Law of Conservation of Mass.
His contributions to chemistry ranged from developing the modern concept of combustion to establishing...