Organic Chemistry I

  • Louis Pasteur


Louis Pasteur (Dole, Jura, 27 December 1822-Villeneuve-l’Étang, nr. Garches (Seine-et-Oise), 28 September 1895; he is buried in the Pasteur Institute, Paris) was the son of a soldier of the First Empire, decorated by Napoleon on the battlefield, who had become a tanner in Arbois. Louis studied in the college at Arbois, then in Besançon, where he graduated in arts in 1840 and in science in 1842, being marked as mediocre in chemistry. His talent being obvious, he was sent in 1843 to the École Normale in Paris, where he attended the lectures of Balard, and also those of Dumas at the Sorbonne. He became Balard’s assistant and his attention was directed to crystallography by Delafosse, formerly a pupil of Haüy. He was also influenced by Laurent. In 1848 Pasteur became professor of physics at the Lycée at Dijon, but in the same year he was appointed assistant professor of chemistry at Strasbourg, becoming professor in 1852, and in 1854 he became professor and dean of the faculty of science at Lille. In 1857 he became Director of the École Normale in Paris, and in 1867–75 was professor in the Sorbonne. In 1889 the Pasteur Institute was founded by a large subscription. He worked there until his death in 1895.


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© J. R. Partington 1964

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  • Louis Pasteur

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