Claude Louis Berthollet

Claude Louis Berthollet (9 December 1748 – 6 November 1822) was a Savoyard-French chemist who became vice president of the French Senate in 1804.[1]


Claude Louis Berthollet was born in Talloires, near Annecy, then part of the Duchy of Savoy, in 1749.

Berthollet, along with Antoine Lavoisier and others, devised a chemical nomenclature, or a system of names, which serves as the basis of the modern system of naming chemical compounds. He also carried out research into dyes and bleaches (introducing the use of chlorine as a bleach) and determined the composition of ammonia. Berthollet was one of the first chemists to recognize the characteristics of a reverse reaction, and hence, chemical equilibrium. Potassium chlorate (KClO3), a strong oxidizer, is known as Berthollet's Salt. Non-stoichiometric compounds are also named berthollides in his honor.

Berthollet was one of several scientists who went with Napoleon to Egypt, and was a member of the physics and natural history section of the Institut d'Égypte.

In 1801, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

He died in Arcueil, France in 1822.

1. ^ Po-chia Hsia, R.; Lynn Hunt, Thomas R. Martin, Barbara H. Rosenwein and Bonnie G. Smith (2007). The Making of the West, Peoples and Culture, A Concise History, Volume II: Since 1340 (2nd ed.). New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s. p. 685.

Further reading

Satish, Kapoor (1970–80). "Berthollet, Claude Louis". Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 2. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. pp. 73-82. ISBN 0684101149.
See also

Society of the Friends of Truth

List of chemists

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