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Laurent, Auguste

organic compounds chemistry theory

[lohrã] (1807/8–53) French organic chemist: classifier of organic compounds.

Laurent was an organic chemist of much talent and energy, who studied . Thereafter his life was fraught with misfortune to an operatic extent; employers swindled him, posts he hoped for were unavailable or were found to lack facilities, a business venture failed and his contributions to theory brought him abuse until almost the end of his life. His last post, as underpaid assayer to the Mint, provided a damp cellar as laboratory and he died of lung disease just before his book Methods of Chemistry (1854) was published, leaving a near-destitute family. He was a skilful experimenter with a passion for classification; in particular, he developed Dumas’s ideas on organic substitution. He recognized that organic compounds could be classed in ‘types’, and he used this, and his idea of a nucleus of carbon atoms within an organic compound, to organize much of the organic chemistry of his time. This led to vigorous debate, from which a clearer view of organic compounds emerged by 1860. Laurent also did valuable work in benzene and related chemistry. His work in organic chemical theory is interwoven with work.

Laurent, Yves Saint (Yves Mathieu-Saint-Laurent) [next] [back] Lauren, Ralph (Lifschitz)

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