(August 9, 1776 – July 9, 1856)

Like some great scientists before him, this physics professor studied religion and law before settling for science. And just like his compatriot, Alessandro Volta, who cashed-in on what Luigi Galvani failed to realize, Avogadro explored facts which Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac overlooked, alongside those which stumped John Dalton. This led him into researches that resulted in his contributions to Molecular Theory. His famous law (sometimes referred to as hypothesis) propelled Physics and Chemistry to loftier heights. This is noteworthy because Avogadro lived in an era when the terms “atom” and “molecule” were used interchangeably. He tried to tidy-up things: starting from where Gay-Lussac and Dalton stopped. In the process, he ushered-in a new era of Particle Physics. His researches were so ahead of their time that none of his contemporaries showed interest in them. It was after three years, when André Ampère rediscovered few of them, that scientists gave them second thoughts. However, Avogadro was already dead in 1860 when Stanislao Cannizzaro confirmed the greatness of his works. They not only determined molecular masses, but atomic masses as well. Several more years would pass before the depths of his works were fully appreciated. Still, his contributions did consolidate his place as one of the founders of Molecular Theory. Among his eponyms are the moon crater Avogadro and the mineral Avogadrite.


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