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In 1777, Antoine Lavoisier helped convince the scientific community that sulfur was a basic element, rather than a compound. How could he be sure about this?

Question #123762. Asked by author.
Last updated Dec 11 2011.
Originally posted Oct 08 2011 4:24 PM.

Answer has 4 votes
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12 year member
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Answer has 4 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
While I have not been able to locate his specific experiment(s) to prove that theory, it was one of Lavoisier's strengths that he carefully carried out precisely measured experiments, which was a great advance for the time. He was a leader in rethinking "elements" from the classical earth, air, water, amd fire to the substances we know today, based on their ability to be decomposed and compounded. Identifying Sulphur as an element is simply noted in many references, like link, as one of his achievements.

He presented several memoirs to the French Royal Academy in 1777, reporting on multiple experiments and his interpretations. While not apparently readily available online (in English or French), the Academy's successor link likely still has these records.

Dec 11 2011, 3:06 PM
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