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Charles Gerhardt

Born 21 Aug 1816; died 19 Aug 1856 at age 39. Charles (-Frédéric) Gerhardt was a French chemist who, with Auguste Laurent, developed a classification of organic compounds. Like most chemists he was aware that the dualistic system of Jöns Berzelius was unsatisfactory and tried to create an alternative. He adopted what became known as type theory in which he thought all organic compounds were based on four main types - hydrogen, hydrogen chloride, ammonia, and water. Organic compounds were referred to these types by replacing a hydrogen atom in one of these compounds by a radical (i.e., by a group of atoms). His idea was opposed by his contemporaries and was later abandoned, but it proved important in the subsequent rationalization of structural organic chemistry.

How do fish keep up...

“How do fish keep up with what's going on? They listen to the current news.”

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