Proust , Joseph Louis
(1754–1826) French chemist
Proust was born the son of an apothecary at Angers in northwest France. He studied in Paris and became chief apothecary at the Saltpêtrière Hospital. In 1789 he went to Madrid to become director of the Royal Laboratory under the patronage of Charles IV. After the invasion of Spain by Napoleon, the fall of his patron, and the destruction of his laboratory by the invading army, he returned to France in 1808. He lived in poverty for some years before being awarded a pension by Louis XVIII.
In 1799 Proust formulated his law of definite proportions. He pointed out that copper carbonate must always be made from the same fixed proportions of copper, carbon, and oxygen. From this he generalized that all compounds contained elements in certain definite proportions. Proust's law was not immediately accepted by all chemists; in particular, his proposal led to a long and famous controversy with Claude-Louis Berthollet who argued that elements could combine in a whole range of different proportions. It is now clear that Proust was talking about compounds whereas Berthollet was thinking of solutions or mixtures. Berthollet eventually admitted his error.
The strength of Proust's law was seen a few years later when John Dalton published his atomic theory. The law and the theory fitted exactly – Proust's definite proportions being in fact a definite number of atoms joining together to form molecules.

Scientists. . 2011.

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  • Proust, Joseph-Louis — ▪ French chemist Introduction also known as  Luis Proust  born Sept. 26, 1754, Angers, France died July 5, 1826, Angers  French chemist who proved that the relative quantities of any given pure chemical compound s constituent elements remain… …   Universalium

  • Proust, Joseph-Louis — (1754 1826)    chemist    Best known for establishing the chemical law of definitive proportions, sometimes called Proust s Law, Joseph Louis Proust was born in Angers. In 1784, he accompanied jean françois pilâtre de rozier in a balloon ascent.… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Joseph-Louis Proust — (* 26. September 1754 in Angers; † 5. Juli 1826 ebenda) war ein französischer Chemiker. Als Sohn eines Apothekers absolvierte Proust zunächst Apotherkerausbildung. Anschließend begann er in Paris ein Chemiestudium. Proust war einer der führenden… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Joseph Louis Proust — (* 26. September 1754 in Angers; † 5. Juli 1826 ebenda) war ein französischer Chemiker. Als Sohn eines Apothekers absolvierte Proust zunächst eine Apotherkerausbildung. Anschließend absolvierte er in Paris ein Chemiestudium und wurde als… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Joseph Louis Proust — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Proust (homonymie). Joseph Louis Proust Joseph Louis Proust Naissance 26 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Louis Joseph Proust — Joseph Louis Proust Pour les articles homonymes, voir Proust (homonymie). Joseph Louis Proust Joseph Louis Proust, né le 26 s …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • PROUST (J. L.) — PROUST JOSEPH LOUIS (1754 1826) Chimiste français né et mort à Angers. Fils de pharmacien, Proust étudie la chimie avec G. F. Rouelle. Diplômé pharmacien, il devient chef pharmacien à l’hôpital de la Salpêtrière à Paris. Il enseigne la chimie à… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Proust — (Joseph Louis) (1754 1826) chimiste français. En 1806, il énonça la loi des proportions définies: les masses des corps simples qui constituent un composé sont entre elles dans un rapport constant. Proust (Marcel) (1871 1922) écrivain français.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Joseph Proust — Infobox Person name=Joseph Louis Proust caption=French chemist quotation=unknown birth date=birth date|1754|9|26|mf=y birth place= Angers, France dead=dead death date=death date and age|1826|7|5|1754|9|26|mf=y death place=Paris,France Joseph… …   Wikipedia

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