By Maurice P. Crosland
Gay-Lussac is healthier identified for his chemical paintings but in addition made very important contributions to different actual sciences and know-how. this is often the 1st paintings to ascertain significantly either the medical paintings and the fellow in the back of it. Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac (1778-1850) lived via 3 revolutions in France and his lifestyles mirrored the social ameliorations occurring round him. His schooling and early development in technological know-how relied on the Revolution of 1789 and at the patronage of the chemist Berthollet, a detailed affiliate of Napoleon Bonaparte. Gay-Lussac could be obvious because the first 'professional' scientist and certainly, during the publication, Professor Crosland emphasises that he knew tips to use his technological know-how to unravel functional difficulties and was once capable of revenue significantly from this program.
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Additional resources for Gay-Lussac: Scientist and Bourgeois
And a fine library. There was a total of about fifty students who would expect to graduate in two or three years. They were trained in the theory and practice of the construction of roads, bridges and canals and in quantity surveying. They attended lectures on mathematics, mechanics, architecture and mineralogy and were required to do technical drawing. Additional subjects studied by some students included English and German. The theoretical work was planned to occupy the months from November to May, and from June to October the students concentrated on practical work, learning to superintend the construction of buildings and to estimate costs.
In the Napoleonic period Gay-Lussac's base was partly the Ecole Polytechnique and partly Arcueil. 32 If Berthollet and Gay-Lussac constituted the original nucleus of the Arcueil circle, Laplace and his disciple Biot came to form a second nucleus which was to have many fruitful interactions with the first. Biot, a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique, had known Laplace since 1799, and Gay-Lussac had begun to carry out experimental work for the great mathematician in 1801. Laplace contributed two extensive footnotes to Berthollet's Essai de statique chimique of 1803 and three years later he decided to buy a country house at Arcueil, a property adjoining that of his old friend.
When he was there it was fortunate for him that the man appointed as deputy governor of the school was a kinsman, Gay de Vernon. Gay-Lussac also claimed to be on good terms with Prony, director of the Ecole des Ponts et Chaussees. Although the patronage of Berthollet was probably the single most important help he received in his career, it was not unique. He was soon to be able to claim close friendship with the explorer Alexander von Humboldt. In Gay-Lussac's later work in applied science the patronage and friendship of artillery officers was helpful and when he finally obtained a key post at the Paris Mint it is worth pointing out that the post depended on the patronage of the Paris prefect Chabrol, a fellow graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique.