Progress has been made to the subject of science through the intelligence of several scientists. All the contributions that were made are reflections of the individuals who discovered them. One of the influential scientists is Henri Moissan and he is arguably the most brilliant of chemists to ever exist. Henri Moissan is a notable scientist that has made many additions to the subject of chemistry. His achievements have furthered the development of chemistry and is still implemented and vital to critical works today.
On September 28, 1852, Ferdinand-Frédéric-Henri Moissan was born in Paris, France. He was born into a family of Sephardic Jews and the son of Francis Moissan, a junior officer at a railroad company, and Joséphine née Mitel, a seamstress (“Who Was Henri Moissan? Everything You Need to Know.” ). Moissan became acquainted with chemistry when his family moved to Meaux and a teacher at his school introduced him to the topic. His love and passion for chemistry grew so much that began to abandon his other studies. Due to his parents’ poor financial status, he was unable to take many classes at the school and ultimately had to leave all together. Once Henri Moissan was leaving the school, he obtained work in a pharmacy and after he saved an individual from arsenic poisoning, he decided to follow suit in his love of chemistry (“Henri Moissan Biography, Life, Interesting Facts.”). He soon went back to college after many years to further his education and that is when he turned his interests to the subject of inorganic chemistry. Henri started to conduct research on certain topics while attending college which eventually lead to his major achievements and discoveries that will prove to have a positive impact on the fundamentals of chemistry forever.
Henri Moissan was able to accomplished many extraordinary endeavors during his career as a Chemist. After he attended the School of Pharmacy and the Museum of Natural History in Paris, Henri Moissan then became a professor of toxicology and inorganic chemistry at the School of Pharmacy (Britannica). In 1884, Moissan began to focus his attention and time on the concept of fluorine. There were several inquisitions pertaining to salts and minerals during the 19th century that led chemists to believe that there was an unknown element with properties that were similar to those of chlorine and iodine; however, it was a very strenuous task to be able to isolate the substance (“The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1906.”). By 1886, he was able to successfully isolate the element fluorine and recorded its properties and reactive states. Henri Moissan also invented a new kind of electric furnace, which he used to help him further his scientific studies, discovered carborundum, and produced artificial diamonds in a laboratory.
Specifically, the electric furnace that was invented by Moissan proved to be very helpful to his future experiments and discoveries. He designed the electric-arc furnace to got to temperatures up to 3,500°C, to aid him in research that led to the production of tiny artificial stones (“The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1906.”). An example of this is when Moissan surmised that diamonds could be synthesized by crystallizing carbon under pressure from molten iron (“The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1906.”). Ultimately, Henri was able to use the furnace to evaporate different substances that had been thought to be infusible. He prepared copious amounts of compounds and used the electric furnace to isolate many items. Later was able to use the furnace to discover new compounds like carbides and borides (“Who Was Henri Moissan? Everything You Need to Know.” ).
Unfortunately, Henri Moissan untimely passed away on February, 20, 1907, in Paris. His death was unexpected by all since he was only 54 years old and he had just arrived back to Paris after receiving his Nobel Prize in Stockholm, Sweden on December 10, 1906. The death was so sudden and has been thought of as being caused by an acute case of appendicitis (“Who Was Henri Moissan? Everything You Need to Know.” ). He obtained the Nobel Prize for the isolation of the fluorine and the development of the his own electric furnace. He also became the first chemist from France to receive the Nobel Prize. Henri Moissan has had a long lasting influence on the world of science with his discoveries and inventions. He is considered to be a trailblazer in the fields he conducted out his research, and new technological techniques scientific discoveries are the result of his revolutionary work.
All in all, Henri Moissan was an intelligent and intellectual individual whose inventions paved the way for future scientists to make ground-breaking discoveries. The love of chemistry grew upon him in his childhood, but the poor financial status of his parents forced him to leave school. His list of findings is impressively long, but he is most known for his isolation of fluorine and the development of the electric-arc furnace because from these two innovations he became the first frenchman to be awarded a Nobel Prize. He has even had an award named after him, called the Moissan Prize, for his work in the science field. Henri Moissan’s brilliance is undeniable and is still vital to the advancement chemistry and science as a whole.