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Encyclopedia > Marcellin Berthelot
Marcellin Berthelot
Marcellin Berthelot

Marcellin (or Marcelin) Pierre Eugène Berthelot (October 25, 1827 - March 18, 1907) was a French chemist and politician noted in thermochemistry for the Thomsen-Berthelot principle. He synthesized many organic compounds from inorganic substances and so utterly disproved the theory of vitalism. He is considered as one of the greatest chemists of all time. Download high resolution version (628x805, 87 KB)In the public domain by age This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Download high resolution version (628x805, 87 KB)In the public domain by age This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... is the 298th day of the year (299th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1827 (MDCCCXXVII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 77th day of the year (78th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1907 (MCMVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... A chemist pours from a round-bottom flask. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A politician is an individual who is a formally recognized and active member of a government, or a person who influences the way a society is governed through an understanding of political power and group dynamics. ... The world’s first ice-calorimeter, used in the winter of 1782-83, by Antoine Lavoisier and Pierre-Simon Laplace, to determine the heat evolved in various chemical changes; calculations which were based on Joseph Black’s prior discovery of latent heat. ... In thermochemistry, the Thomsen-Berthelot principle is an hypothesis in the history of chemistry which argued that all chemical changes are accompanied by the production of heat and that processes which occur will be ones in which the most heat is produced. ... Vitalism is the doctrine that vital forces are active in living organisms, so that life cannot be explained solely by mechanism. ...


He was born at Paris, the son of a doctor. After doing well at school in history and philosophy, he turned to science.

The Eiffel Tower has become the symbol of Paris throughout the world. ... This article is about the study of the past in human terms. ... For other uses, see Philosophy (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Career

In 1851 he became a member of the staff of the Collège de France as assistant to A.J. Balard, his former master, and about the same time he began his life-long friendship with Ernest Renan. In 1854, he made his reputation by his doctoral thesis, Sur les combinaisons de la glycérine avec les acides, which described a series of beautiful researches in continuation and amplification of M.E. Chevreul's classic work. In 1859 he was appointed professor of organic chemistry at the École Supérieure de Pharmacie, and in 1865 he accepted the new chair of organic chemistry, which was specially created for his benefit at the Collège de France. He became a member of the Academy of Medicine in 1863, and ten years afterwards entered the Academy of Sciences, of which he became perpetual secretary in 1889 in succession to Louis Pasteur. He was appointed inspector general of higher education in 1876, and after his election as life senator in 1881 he continued to take an active interest in educational questions, especially as affected by compulsory military service. In René Goblet's ministry of 1886-1887 he was minister of public instruction, and in the Bourgeois cabinet of 1895-1896 he held the portfolio for foreign affairs. His scientific jubilee was celebrated in Paris in 1901. 1851 (MDCCCLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Courtyard of the Collège de France. ... Antoine Jerome Balard (September 30, 1802 - April 30, 1876), was a French chemist, and the discoverer of bromine. ... Ernest Renan (February 28, 1823–October 12, 1892) was a French philosopher and writer. ... 1854 (MDCCCLIV) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Michel Eugène Chevreul (August 31, 1786 – April 9, 1889) was an important French chemist whose work with fatty acids led to early applications in the fields of art and science. ... Académie Nationale de Médecine, or National Academy of Medicine was created in 1820 by king Louis XVIII at the urging of baron Antoine Portal. ... Louis XIV visiting the Académie in 1671 The French Academy of Sciences (Académie des sciences) is a learned society, founded in 1666 by Louis XIV at the suggestion of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, to encourage and protect the spirit of French scientific research. ... Louis Pasteur (December 27, 1822 – September 28, 1895) was a French chemist best known for his remarkable breakthroughs in microbiology. ... A senator for life is a member of the Italian Senate appointed by the President of the Italian Republic for outstanding merits in the social, scientific, artistic or literary field. Former Presidents of the Republic are ex officio life senators. ... “Conscript” redirects here. ... René Goblet, French statesman René Goblet (November 26, 1828 - September 13, 1905) was a French politician, first minister of France for a period in 1886-1887. ... Categories: French government | France-related stubs | Education in France ... French politician Léon Bourgeois Léon Victor Auguste Bourgeois (May 21, 1851 - September 29, 1925) was a French statesman. ... In 1589, the four French Secretaries of State became specialized, with one of the secretaries responsible for foreign affairs. ...


Discoveries

The fundamental conception that underlay all Berthelot's chemical work was that all chemical phenomena depend on the action of physical forces which can be determined and measured. When he began his active career it was generally believed that, although some instances of the synthetic production of organic substances had been observed, on the whole organic chemistry remained an analytical science and could not become a constructive one, because the formation of the substances with which it deals required the intervention of vital activity in some shape. To this attitude he offered uncompromising opposition, and by the synthetic production of numerous hydrocarbons, natural fats, sugars and other bodies he proved that organic compounds can be formed by ordinary methods of chemical manipulation and obey the same laws as inorganic substances, thus exhibiting the "creative character in virtue of which chemistry actually realizes the abstract conceptions of its theories and classifications--a prerogative so far possessed neither by the natural nor by the historical sciences." Organic chemistry is a specific discipline within chemistry which involves the scientific study of the structure, properties, composition, reactions, and preparation (by synthesis or by other means) of chemical compounds consisting primarily of carbon and hydrogen, which may contain any number of other elements, including nitrogen, oxygen, halogens as well... Vitalism is the doctrine that vital forces are active in living organisms, so that life cannot be explained solely by mechanism. ... In chemistry, a hydrocarbon is a cleaning solution consisting only of carbon (C) and hydrogen (H). ... For other uses, see FAT. Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and largely insoluble in water. ... This article is about sugar as food and as an important and widely-traded commodity. ...


Publications

His investigations on the synthesis of organic compounds were published in numerous papers and books, including Chimie organique fondée sur la synthèse (1860) and Les Carbures d'hydrogène (1901). Again he held that chemical phenomena are not governed by any peculiar laws special to themselves, but are explicable in terms of the general laws of mechanics that are in operation throughout the universe; and this view he developed, with the aid of thousands of experiments, in his Mécanique chimique (1878) and his Thermochimie (1897). This branch of study naturally conducted him to the investigation of explosives, and on the theoretical side led to the results published in his work Sur la force de la poudre et des matières explosives (1872), while on the practical side it enabled him to render important services to his country as president of the scientific defence committee during the siege of Paris in 1870-71 and subsequently as chief of the French explosives committee. For other uses, see Universe (disambiguation). ... Combatants Prussia, Baden Bavaria, Württemberg (later German Empire) France Commanders Wilhelm I of Germany Helmuth von Moltke Louis Jules Trochu Joseph Vinoy Strength 240,000 regulars 200,000 regulars 200,000 militia and sailors Casualties 12,000 dead or wounded 24,000 dead or wounded 146,000 captured 47...


In later life he turned to the study of the earlier phases of the science which he did so much to advance, and students of chemical history are greatly indebted to him for his book on Les Origines de l'alchimie (1885) and his Introduction à l'étude de la chimie des anciens et du moyen âge (1889), as well as for publishing translations of various old Greek, Syriac and Arabic treatises on alchemy and chemistry (Collection des anciens alchimistes grecs, 1887-1888, and La Chimie au moyen âge, 1893). He was also the author of Science et philosophie (1886), which contains a well-known letter to Renan on "La Science idéale et la science positive," of La Révolution chimique, Lavoisier (1890), of Science et morale (1897), and of numerous articles in La Grande Encyclopédie, which he helped to establish.AND THEN FIGURED OUT THAT HE WAS GAY La Grande Encyclopédie, inventaire raisonné des sciences, des lettres, et des arts (The Great Encyclopedia: a systematic inventory of science, letters, and the arts) is a 31-volume encyclopedia published in France from 1886 to 1902 by H. Lamirault, and later by the Société anonyme de la grande...


Family

He died suddenly, immediately after the death of his wife Sophie Niaudet (1837-1907), at Paris, and was buried with her in the Panthéon. He had six children [1]: Marcel André (1862-1939), Marie-Hélène (1863-1895), Camille (1864-1928), Daniel (1865-1927), Philippe (1866-1934), and René (1872-1960). The Panthéon Interior Dome of the Panthéon Entrance of the Panthéon Voltaires statue and tomb in the crypt of the Panthéon The Panthéon (Latin Pantheon[1], from Greek Pantheon, meaning All the Gods) is a building in the Latin Quarter in Paris, France. ... André Berthelot (1862-1938) was the son of the chemist and politician Marcellin Berthelot and a député of the Seine. ... Philippe Berthelot (Sèvres, October 9, 1866 – Paris, November 22, 1934) was an important French diplomat, son of Marcellin Berthelot. ...


References

  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

Encyclopædia Britannica, the eleventh edition The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...

Further reading

Crosland, M.P. (1970-80). "Berthelot, Pierre Eugène Marcellin". Dictionary of Scientific Biography 2. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 63-72. ISBN 0684101149.  The Dictionary of Scientific Biography is a reference work consisting of extensive biographies of scientists from antiquity to modern times, excluding scientists who were alive when the Dictionary was first put out. ...


See also

The theory of abiogenic petroleum origin holds that natural petroleum was formed from deep carbon deposits, perhaps dating to the formation of the Earth. ... Berthelots reagent is an alkaline solution of phenol and hypochlorite, used in analytical chemistry. ...

External links

Preceded by
René Goblet
Minister of Public Instruction and Fine Arts
1886–1887
Succeeded by
Eugène Spuller
Preceded by
Gabriel Hanotaux
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1895–1896
Succeeded by
Léon Bourgeois
Preceded by
Joseph Bertrand
Seat 40
Académie française

1900–1907
Succeeded by
Francis Charmes
Project Gutenberg, abbreviated as PG, is a volunteer effort to digitize, archive and distribute cultural works. ... René Goblet, French statesman René Goblet (November 26, 1828 - September 13, 1905) was a French politician, first minister of France for a period in 1886-1887. ... This page is a list of French education ministers. ... Eugène Spuller (December 8, 1835 - July 28, 1896), was a French politician and writer. ... Albert Auguste Gabriel Hanotaux, known as Gabriel Hanotaux, (1853–1944) was a French statesman and historian. ... The honour entrance to the Ministry building on the Quai dOrsay The Minister of Foreign Affairs, in the Government of France, is the cabinet member responsible for the Republics network of relationships with foreign nations. ... French politician Léon Bourgeois Léon Victor Auguste Bourgeois (May 21, 1851 – September 29, 1925) was a French statesman. ... Joseph Louis François Bertrand (March 11, 1822 - April 5, 1900, born and died in Paris) was a French mathematician who worked in the fields of number theory, differential geometry, probability theory, and thermodynamics. ... This is a list of members of the Académie française (French Academy) by seat number. ... The Académie française In the French educational system an académie LAcadémie française, or the French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. ...

 
 

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