Joseph Black

The Scottish chemist Joseph Black, b. Apr. 16, 1728, d. Dec. 6, 1799, performed early quantitative experiments and was among the first to emphasize their importance to chemists. He showed that carbon dioxide differs from ordinary air, and his studies of specific heat and latent heat furnished a basis for Antoine Laurent Lavoisier's caloric theory of heat. He taught at the universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Ralph Gable


Bibliography: Abbott, D., ed., The Biographical Dictionary of Chemists (1984); Robinson, E., and McKie, D., eds., Partners in Science: Letters of James Watt and Joseph Black (1969).

Last modified on: Friday, October 17, 1997.