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Auguste Laurent

Died 23 Apr 1853 at age 45 (born 14 Nov 1807). French chemist who developed organic chemistry as a distinct science. For a while, he assisted Jean Dumas, and extended his work, understanding organic compounds as derivatives of hydrocarbon molecules. In crystallography he was influenced by René-Just Haüy. Laurent recognised that carbon atoms formed bonds based on a pyramid structure. Furthermore, against the opinion of many peers, he rejected the idea held by Jöns Berzelius that even organic molecules were formed from positively and negatively charged entities. Laurent showed (1836) that a supposedly positive-charge hydrogen atom could be replaced by a supposedly negative-charge chlorine atom. He recognised families of organic compounds with characteristic groups. He died in middle age from tuberculosis.«

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