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Henri Moissan

Henri MoissanAKA Ferdinand Frédéric Henri Moissan

Born: 28-Sep-1852
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: 20-Feb-1907
Location of death: Paris, France
Cause of death: Appendicitis
Remains: Buried, Cimetière du Père Lachaise, Paris, France

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Chemist, Inventor

Nationality: France
Executive summary: Isolated fluorine

French pharmacist and chemist Henri Moissan studied under Edmond Frémy at the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle, and pioneered chemistry under extremes of temperature. In 1885 he became the first scientist to isolate the pale yellow reactive gas fluorine. To accomplish this he employed two new strategies, chilling the electrolytic solution to -185° Celsius to reduce the element's reactivity, and coating his equipment with a highly resilient platinum-iridium alloy. Following this breakthrough he designed and constructed an electric-arc furnace in 1892, often called the Moissan furnace. Using it to subject materials to temperatures of up to 1925°, he produced numerous uncommon metals including chromium, manganese, molybdenum, titanium, tungsten, uranium, and vanadium. In 1893 he reported that he had synthesized diamonds in his furnace, though this is doubtful and could not be replicated. Moissan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1906, but died of acute appendicitis shortly after returning from Stockholm.

Father: Francis Ferdinand Moissan (railroad official)
Mother: Josephine Améraldine Mitel Moissan
Wife: Marie Léonie Lugan Moissan (m. 30-May-1882, one son)
Son: Louis Ferdinand Henri Moissan (historian)

    High School: Collège de Meaux, Paris (1870)
    University: BS, Musée d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris (1879)
    University: École Pratique des Haute Études
    University: DSc, Sorbonne (1880)
    Lecturer: Toxicology, École Supérieure de Pharmacie (1879-83)
    Professor: Toxicology, École Supérieure de Pharmacie (1886-89)
    Professor: Toxicology, École Supérieure de Pharmacie (1889-1900)
    Professor: Inorganic Chemistry, Sorbonne (1900-07)

    Prix Lacaze 1887
    Davy Medal 1896
    August Wilhelm von Hofmann Medal 1903
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1906
    French Legion of Honor
    French Academy of Medicine 1888
    French Academy of Sciences 1891
    Conseil d'Hygiène de la Seine 1895
    Comité Consultatif des Arts et Manufactures 1898
    Royal Society 1905
    French Ancestry
    Jewish Ancestry
    Risk Factors: Appendicitis

Author of books:
Le Four Électrique (The Electric-Arc Furnace) (1897, non-fiction)
Le Fluor et ses Composés (Fluorine and Its Compounds) (1900, non-fiction)
Traité de Chimie Minerale (Treatise on Inorganic Chemistry) (1906, non-fiction; five volumes)


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