Antoine Laurent Lavoisier was born in 1743. He was a Lawyer's son. In 1764, he obtained his Law degree and started a career as a barrister at a prestigious law firm. However, Lavoisier was very interested by the world of science and became friends with some of the more famous scientists in France at the time. One of his more famous acquaintances was Jean Guettard, a Geologist.

Jean Guettard invited him to take part in a scientific trip which was to take them around the whole of France, in order to determine details on the geological history of France as well as producing a geological map of the country.

He received a gold medal from the Science Academy for his contribution to this geological map, which was the first of its kind.  He later went on to become a member of the Academy.

Lavoisier was also appointed tax collector by the French King, Louis XVI.  As well as this, Lavoisier was put in charge of the Arsenal in Paris.  He lived in close proximity to the Arsenal and this allowed him to frequently carry out experiments in the laboratories.  This is where his chemistry experiments began.                                                                        

However, the French Revolution began in 1789 and Robespierre requested the arrest of all Tax collectors.  Lavoisiser was taken prisoner and sentenced to death.  He was guillotined on the 8 May 1794.