Amedeo Avogadro is an Italian chemist and physicist known for his molecular theory.
Childhood and early years
Amedeo Avogadro was born on August 9, 1776 in Turin, Italy, to a family of lawyers. His father, Count Filippo Avogadro, was a well-known lawyer in Piedmont, an area in Northern Italy. His training begins at the age of 13 years, and at the age of 16 successfully graduates from school. By the age of twenty, he is already becoming a doctor of philosophy. Despite the fact that in 1796, following the footsteps of his father, he studies the laws, he continues to show a keen interest in mathematics and physics. In a few years, this fascination will make him a famous physicist.
After graduating from philosophy in 1789, Amedeo Avogadro graduated from the Faculty of Jurisprudence in 1792 and in 1796 received his doctorate in canon law. Shortly thereafter, he embarks on legal practice. In his spare time Avogadro, for his own pleasure, is engaged in the study of mathematics and physics and even conducts research in the field of electricity. Soon he leaves canonical legal practice and in 1804 becomes a member of the Turin Academy of Sciences.
Later, in 1806, he will be appointed to the position of laboratory assistant. In 1809, Avogadro will receive the title of Professor of Natural Philosophy of the Royal School of Vercelli. And only in 1820 he received the honorary title of professor of physics and mathematics at the University of Turin. In 1822, due to civil clashes in Piemonte, he would be forced to leave his post, but will again take it in 1834. Avogadro will work at the university until, in 1850, he leaves his scientific works.
In 1815, Avogadro combined a marriage with Felicita Mazza from Biella. In their family, six children were born. Amedeo was a simple, believing, domestic person who did not like to leave his native Turin. His thoughts he rarely shared with outstanding scientists of the time, and therefore remained many misunderstood.
During the life of Avogadro, many of his works managed to see the light. His early works were scientific notes on the topic of electricity, the specific heat of substances, the expansion of liquid by heating, etc. Many studies are presented in the work “The Physical Nature of Massive Bodies, or the Treatise on the Structure of Material Bodies” in 4 volumes. Another published work was “A short
essay, in its way, determining the relative masses of elementary particles of bodies and the relationship, according to which they interact with other bodies.”
Recognition of Avogadro came with the nomination of a hypothesis, called the “Avogadro’s Law.” He outlined his theory in a publication that appeared in 1811. This law states that, for a given temperature and equal volumes, gases contain an equal number of molecules, regardless of their chemical nature and physical properties.
The first discovery of Avogadro was recognized by the famous scientist of his time, Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac. The number 6.02214199×1023, expressing the number of molecules in one mole, was called the “Avogadro number” – in honor of the scientist’s invaluable contribution to the development of physics and mathematics, and also for the development of the “molecular theory.”
Death and heritage
Avogadro passed away on July 9, 1856, in Turin, Italy, where he lived his whole life. Recognition came to the scientist only 50 years after his death.