|Born||8 February 1777|
|Died||27 September 1838 61)(aged|
Bernard Courtois, also spelled Barnard Courtois, (8 February 1777 – 27 September 1838)was a French chemist credited with first isolating iodine and morphine.
France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.02 million. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.
A chemist is a scientist trained in the study of chemistry. Chemists study the composition of matter and its properties. Chemists carefully describe the properties they study in terms of quantities, with detail on the level of molecules and their component atoms. Chemists carefully measure substance proportions, reaction rates, and other chemical properties. The word 'chemist' is also used to address Pharmacists in Commonwealth English.
Iodine is a chemical element with the symbol I and atomic number 53. The heaviest of the stable halogens, it exists as a lustrous, purple-black non-metallic solid at standard conditions that melts to form a deep violet liquid at 114 degrees Celsius, and boils to a violet gas at 184 degrees Celsius. The element was discovered by the French chemist Bernard Courtois in 1811. It was named two years later by Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac from this property, after the Greek ἰώδης "violet-coloured".
Courtois was born in Dijon and grew up in the prestigious surroundings of his father's workplace at the Dijon Academy. The Academy, where the family lived, was a small hotel that had been converted for scientific studies. Courtois' father, Jean-Baptiste, worked for the chemist Louis-Bernard Guyton de Morveau as well as for the Academy as a pharmacist and was called by his family pharmacien de l'Academie. When Courtois was twelve the family moved to the Saint-Medard Nitrary, an experimental nitrate plant which Jean-Baptiste bought from Louis-Bernard Guyton de Morveau and his partner.
Dijon is a city in eastern France, capital of the Côte-d'Or département in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region.
Louis-Bernard Guyton, Baron de Morveau was a French chemist and politician. He is credited with producing the first systematic method of chemical nomenclature.
Pharmacists, also known as chemists or druggists, are health professionals who practice in pharmacy, the field of health sciences focusing on safe and effective medication use. Pharmacists undergo university-level education to understand the biochemical mechanisms and actions of drugs, drug uses, therapeutic roles, side effects, potential drug interactions, and monitoring parameters. This is mated to anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology. Pharmacists interpret and communicate this specialized knowledge to patients, physicians, and other health care providers.
Courtois and his brother Pierre learned the trade of making potassium nitrate for gunpowder for the French Revolution. Courtois, however, branched off from this venture to learn chemistry. Courtois lived at Saint-Medard Nitrary until he was about eighteen, when he left his family home to begin his trade apprenticeship in chemistry in Auxerre. Here for three years he was a student of M. Frémy, the future grandfather of Edmond Frémy. He then obtained a position with Antoine-François de Fourcroy at the École Polytechnique in Paris. In 1799 Courtois served as a pharmacist in military hospitals. In 1801 he returned to the École Polytechnique to work in the laboratory of Louis Jacques Thénard.
Potassium nitrate is a chemical compound with the chemical formula KNO3. It is an ionic salt of potassium ions K+ and nitrate ions NO3−, and is therefore an alkali metal nitrate.
The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.
Auxerre is the capital of the Yonne department and the fourth-largest city in Burgundy. Auxerre's population today is about 39,000; the metropolitan area comprises roughly 92,000 inhabitants. Residents of Auxerre are referred to as Auxerrois.
In 1802, Courtois worked with Armand Séguin at the École Polytechnique on the study of opium. In conjunction with Séguin, Courtois isolated morphine, the first known alkaloid, from opium. Séguin presented his first memoir on opium to the French Institute in 1804.L. G. Toraude adds a note at the end of the biography of Courtois:
Opium is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy. Approximately 12 percent of the opium latex is made up of the analgesic alkaloid morphine, which is processed chemically to produce heroin and other synthetic opioids for medicinal use and for illegal drug trade. The latex also contains the closely related opiates codeine and thebaine, and non-analgesic alkaloids such as papaverine and noscapine. The traditional, labor-intensive method of obtaining the latex is to scratch ("score") the immature seed pods (fruits) by hand; the latex leaks out and dries to a sticky yellowish residue that is later scraped off and dehydrated. The word "meconium" historically referred to related, weaker preparations made from other parts of the opium poppy or different species of poppies.
Morphine is a pain medication of the opiate family which is found naturally in a number of plants and animals. It acts directly on the central nervous system (CNS) to decrease the feeling of pain. It can be taken for both acute pain and chronic pain. It is frequently used for pain from myocardial infarction and during labor. It can be given by mouth, by injection into a muscle, by injection under the skin, intravenously, injection into the space around the spinal cord, or rectally. Maximum effect is reached after about 20 minutes when given intravenously and after 60 minutes when given by mouth, while duration of effect is 3–7 hours. Long-acting formulations also exist.
Alkaloids are a class of naturally occurring organic compounds that mostly contain basic nitrogen atoms. This group also includes some related compounds with neutral and even weakly acidic properties. Some synthetic compounds of similar structure may also be termed alkaloids. In addition to carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen, alkaloids may also contain oxygen, sulfur and, more rarely, other elements such as chlorine, bromine, and phosphorus.
|“||There is one point, I am afraid, which seems to me has not been extended or explained sufficiently in the course of this study. It is about the participation of Courtois in the discovery of morphine. Although Courtois had been, on this occasion, his direct collaborator, Séguin nevertheless did not name him ... Yet, two testimonies of totally different character seem right to confirm it: one, a testimony from the scientist Frémy who relates in one of his letters that he has seen Courtois trying to produce the organic alkalis artificially; the other, a testimony of an illiterate person who is none other than the widow of Courtois and who writes 20 years after the death of her husband : he was a salpêtrier under the reign of Napoléon. For a long time, he gave himself up to serious work on morphine. These are two testimonies of great significance in our eyes and not to be disregarded.||”|
Séguin's and Courtois' opium research came to an end at the École Polytechnique in 1804. Courtois then went to his father's business in Paris for making potassium nitrate. By 1805 his father's business was failing and he was put in debtors' prison until the end of 1807. Courtois managed the family business meanwhile until his father was released. No details are known of the demise of Courtois' father after his release. Courtois is recorded as a Parisian businessman in 1806 as a salpêtrier. In 1808 Courtois married the daughter of a Parisian hairdresser. Records show he continued to operate the family saltpeter factory until 1821, with the possible exception of years 1815, 1816, and 1817.
By 1811 the war had made the government-controlled saltpeter business taper off since there was by then a shortage of wood ashes with which potassium nitrate was made. As an alternative, the needed potassium nitrate was derived from seaweed that was abundant on the Normandy and Brittany shores. The seaweed also had another, yet undiscovered, important chemical. One day towards the end of 1811 while Courtois was isolating sodium and potassium compounds from seaweed ash, he discovered iodine after he added sulfuric acid to the seaweed ash.He was investigating corrosion of his copper vessels when he noticed a vapor given off. It was in the form of an unusual purple vapor. Humphry Davy later records,
Sir Humphry Davy, 1st Baronet was a Cornish chemist and inventor, who is best remembered today for isolating, using electricity, a series of elements for the first time: potassium and sodium in 1807 and calcium, strontium, barium, magnesium and boron the following year, as well as discovering the elemental nature of chlorine and iodine. He also studied the forces involved in these separations, inventing the new field of electrochemistry. In 1799 Davy experimented with nitrous oxide and was astonished at how it made him laugh, so he nicknamed it "laughing gas", and wrote about its potential anaesthetic properties in relieving pain during surgery.
|“||This substance was discovered accidentally, 2 years ago by Courtois, a Paris manufacturer. In the course of the procedure by which he obtained soda from seaweed ash, he found that the metal vessels he used were corroded and he looked for the cause, when he discovered the new substance. It appeared when a little sulfuric acid was added to the ash after extracting carbonate of soda. When the acid is concentrated enough to produce a strong heat the new substance appears as a beautiful violet vapor and condenses in crystals which are the color and lustre of graphite.||”|
Courtois was acknowledged by Humphry Davy and Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac as the true discoverer of iodine. He went into manufacturing high-quality iodine and its salts in 1822. In 1831 he was awarded 6,000 francs as part of the Montyon Prize by L'Academie royale des sciences for the medicinal value of this element. He struggled financially for the rest of his life and died September 27, 1838. He was 62 years old and had no assets left for his widow or son.In the year of his death, the Journal de chimie médicale drily noted his passing under the heading Obituary as:
"Bernard Courtois, the discoverer of iodine, died at Paris the 27th of September, 1838, leaving his widow without fortune. If, on making this discovery, Courtois had taken out a certificate of invention, he would have realized a large estate."
Claude Louis Berthollet was a Savoyard-French chemist who became vice president of the French Senate in 1804. He is known for his scientific contributions to theory of chemical equilibria via the mechanism of reverse chemical reactions, and for his contribution to modern chemical nomenclature. On a practical basis, Berthollet was the first to demonstrate the bleaching action of chlorine gas, and was first to develop a solution of sodium hypochlorite as a modern bleaching agent.
The halogens are a group in the periodic table consisting of five chemically related elements: Fluorine (F), Chlorine (Cl), Bromine (Br), Iodine (I), and Astatine (At). The artificially created element 117 may also be a halogen. In the modern IUPAC nomenclature, this group is known as group 17.
Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac was a French chemist and physicist. He is known mostly for his discovery that water is made of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen, for two laws related to gases, and for his work on alcohol-water mixtures, which led to the degrees Gay-Lussac used to measure alcoholic beverages in many countries.
Antoine François, comte de Fourcroy was a French chemist and a contemporary of Antoine Lavoisier. Fourcroy collaborated with Lavoisier, Guyton de Morveau, and Claude Berthollet on the Méthode de nomenclature chimique, a work that helped standardize chemical nomenclature.
Marie Ennemond Camille Jordan was a French mathematician, known both for his foundational work in group theory and for his influential Cours d'analyse.
The year 1811 in science and technology involved some significant events, listed below.
Jacques Charles François Sturm ForMemRS was a French mathematician.
Jean Nicolas Pierre Hachette, French mathematician, was born at Mézières, where his father was a bookseller.
Edmond Frémy was a French chemist. He is perhaps best known today for Frémy's salt, a strong oxidizing agent which he discovered in 1845. Fremy's salt is a long-lived free radical that finds use as a standard in electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy.
The Académie de Dijon was founded by Hector-Bernard Pouffier, the most senior member of the Parlement de Bourgogne, in 1725. It received royal lettres patentes in 1740. In 1775, it became the "Académie des Sciences, Arts et Belles-Lettres de Dijon." From 1855 to 1869, it was called the "Académie Impériale des Sciences, Arts et Belles-Lettres de Dijon" before returning in 1870 to the name "Académie des Sciences, Arts et Belles-Lettres de Dijon."
Charles Bernard Desormes (French: [dezɔʁm]; 3 June 1777 – 30 August 1862) was a French physicist and chemist. He determined the ratio of the specific heats of gases in 1819. He did this and almost all his scientific work in collaboration with his son-in-law Nicolas Clément (1779–1841). Clément and Desormes correctly determined the composition of carbon disulfide (CS2) and carbon monoxide (CO) in 1801–02. In 1806 they elucidated all the chemical reactions that take place during the production of sulfuric acid by the lead chamber method, as used in industrial chemistry. In 1813 they made a study of iodine and its compounds.
François Devosge, François III Devosge or Claude François III was a French portraitist and history painter. He was a student of François Rude, Pierre-Paul Prud'hon and Claude Hoin and is best known for his work as the founder of the École de Dessin de Dijon. His son Anatole Devosge (1770–1850) was also a painter, whilst his father Claude François Devosge (1697–1777) was a sculptor and architect.
Armand Jean François Séguin or Segouin was a French chemist and physiologist who discovered a faster and cheaper process for tanning leather. As a result, he became immensely rich through the supply of leather to Napoleon's armies. He was born on March 21, 1767 in Paris and died on January 23, 1835.
Clément Georges Lemoine was a French chemist and hydrologist. He was the father of geologist Paul Lemoine (1878–1940).
Claudine Picardet was a chemist, mineralogist, meteorologist and scientific translator. Among the French chemists of the late eighteenth century she stands out for her extensive translations of scientific literature from Swedish, English, German and Italian to French. She translated three books and thousands of pages of scientific papers, which were published as well as circulated in manuscript form. She hosted renowned scientific and literary salons in Dijon and Paris, and was an active participant in the collection of meteorological data. She helped to establish Dijon and Paris as scientific centers, substantially contributing to the spread of scientific knowledge during a critical period in the chemical revolution.
François Peyrard (1760–1822) was a French mathematician, educator and librarian. During the French Revolution, he was involved in the committee that reformed the French educational system. He was one of the founder of the École Polytechnique and its first librarian.
Jacques Cellerier (1742–1814) was a French architect in the neoclassical style whose buildings can be seen mainly in Paris and Dijon.
Patrice Bret is a French historian of science and technology and a senior researcher at the Centre Alexandre-Koyré in Paris. His areas of expertise include the translation and circulation of scientific and technical knowledge through communities in the 18th century, the technology and history of armaments in the 18th-20th centuries, and science and technology under colonisation.
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