History of Chemistry

Who is the Father of Chemistry?

Who is the Father of Chemistry? Here is a look at the best answers to this question and the reasons why each of these people may be considered to be the Father of Chemistry.

Father of Chemistry

Father of Chemistry: Most Common Answer

If you are asked to identify the Father of Chemistry for a homework assignment, your best answer probably is Antoine Lavoisier. Lavoisier wrote the book Elements of Chemistry (1787). He compiles the first complete (at that time) list of elements, discovered and named oxygen and hydrogen, helped develop the metric system, helped revise and standardize chemical nomenclature and discovered that matter retains its mass even when it changes forms.

Another popular choice for the title of Father of Chemistry is Jabir ibn Hayyan, a Persian alchemist living around 800AD who applied scientific principles to his studies.

Other people sometimes known as the Father of Modern Chemistry are Robert Boyle, Jöns Berzelius and John Dalton.

Other "Father of Chemistry" Scientists

Other scientists are called the Father of Chemistry or are noted in specific fields of chemistry:




Father of Early Chemistry
Father of Chemistry

Jabir ibn Hayyan (Geber)

Introduced the experimental method to alchemy, circa 815.

Father of Modern Chemistry

Antoine Lavoisier

Book: Elements of Chemistry (1787)

Father of Modern Chemistry

Robert Boyle

Book: The Sceptical Chymist (1661)

Father of Modern Chemistry

Jöns Berzelius

developed chemical nomenclature in the 1800s

Father of Modern Chemistry

John Dalton

revived atomic theory

Father of Early Atomic Theory


founded atomism in cosmology

Father of Atomic Theory
Father of Modern Atomic Theory

John Dalton

first to propose the atom as a building block of matter

Father of Modern Atomic Theory

Father Roger Boscovich

described what came to be known as modern atomic theory, about a century before others formalized the theory

Father of Nuclear Chemistry

Otto Hahn

Book: Applied Radiochemistry (1936)
first person to split the atom (1938)
Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering nuclear fission (1944)

Father of the Periodic Table

Dmitri Mendeleev

arranged all the known elements in order of increasing atomic weight, according to periodic properties (1869)

Father of Physical Chemistry

Hermann von Helmholtz

for his theories on thermodynamics, conservation of energy and electrodynamics

Father of Physical Chemistry
Founder of Chemical Thermodynamics

Willard Gibbs

published the first unified body of theorems describing thermodynamics

(Author: Dr. Murray Coombs, June 23, 2015)

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