Bernard Courtois

Bernard Courtois

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Bernard Courtois

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Bernard Courtois, also spelled Barnard Courtois, (12 February 1777–27 September 1838) was a French chemist born in Dijon, France.

Early life

Courtois 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.

Mid life

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......
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