Auguste Laurent. Radical and radicals

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Auguste Laurent (1807-1853) was one of the most important chemists of the nineteenth century. He discovered and synthesized a large number of aromatic organic compounds, among them naphthalene derivatives, anthracene, phenanthrene, stilbene, benzil, phthalic acid, phthalic anhydride, and pyrene. His theories about equivalents and radicals were fundamental for destroying the dualistic approach and establish the modern approach of organic chemistry. He proposed a new rational method of organic classification based on the functional groups present in the molecule that became the basis of the Geneva nomenclature for organic chemistry adopted in 1892, His radical political ideas and his acrid commentaries on the opinion and errors of fellow chemists curbed his academic progress and were an important reason for the poor reception of his advanced ideas during his lifetime.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-175
Number of pages10
JournalEducacion Quimica
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Naphtahlene and derivatives
  • phthalic acid
  • coal tar distilation
  • Radicals
  • type theory
  • chemical classification and rules


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