Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier (also Antoine Lavoisier after the French Revolution; 26 August 1743 – 8 May 1794; French pronunciation: ), the "father of modern chemistry", was a French nobleman prominent in the histories of chemistry and biology. He found and termed both oxygen (1778) and hydrogen (1783), helped construct the metric system, put together the first extensive list of elements, and helped to reform chemical nomenclature. He was also the first to establish that sulfur was an element (1777) rather than a compound. He discovered that, although matter may change its form or shape, its mass always remains the same.
He was an administrator of the "Ferme Générale" and a powerful member of a number of other aristocratic councils. All of these political and economic activities enabled him to fund his scientific research. At the height of the French Revolution he was accused by Jean-Paul Marat of selling watered-down tobacco, and of other crimes, and was guillotined.
Born to a wealthy family in Paris, Antoine Laurent Lavoisier inherited a large fortune at the age of five with the passing of his mother. He attended the Collège Mazarin in 1754 to 1761, studying chemistry, botany, astronomy, and mathematics. His education was filled with the ideals of the French Enlightenment of the time, and he was fascinated by Pierre Macquer's dictionary of chemistry. He attended lectures in the natural sciences. Lavoisier's devotion and passion for chemistry was largely influenced by Étienne Condillac, a prominent French scholar of the 18th century. His first chemical publication appeared in 1764. In collaboration with Jean-Étienne Guettard, Lavoisier worked on a geological survey of Alsace-Lorraine in June 1767. At the age of 25, he was elected a member of the French Academy of Sciences, France's most elite scientific society, for an essay on street lighting, and in recognition for his earlier research. In 1769, he worked on the first geological map of France.