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Benjamin Lopez

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Joseph-Achille Le Bel

Born 24 Jan 1847; died 6 Aug 1930 at age 83.French chemist who was the first to present a theory on the relationship between molecules and how they absorb or reflect light. Born into a family wealthy in petroleum holdings, he was able to build his own laboratory to pursue his work. He theorized (1874) that optical activity - the presence of two forms of the same organic molecule, one a mirror image of the other - is due to an asymmetric carbon atom bound to four different groups. For this contribution he is regarded as the cofounder of stereochemistry, with J. H. van't Hoff. His interests also included petrochemistry, cosmology, and biology.Birth date: DSB gives 24 Jan 1847; Enc. Brit. gives 21 Jan 1847.

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