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Black, Joseph (1728-1799)
Born: Bordeaux (France), 1728
Died: Edinburgh (Scotland), 1799
Black studied languages and natural philosophy in Glasgow in 1746 and medicines in 1748. He obtained a doctors degree from Edinburgh in 1754. From 1756 – 1766 he was professor at Glasgow and later in Edinburgh from 1766 – 1799. Black studied gases by heating calcium carbonate and eventually obtained "fixed air", carbon dioxide. He later introduced this research to his pupil Daniel Rutherford. He was convinced that heat, light and electricity were intangible, unweighable matter. He discovered magnesium carbonate in 1755.
Joseph Black (1728-1799) is credited with several major contributions to chemical science, in particular the rediscovery of “fixed air” (carbon dioxide), the discovery of the bicarbonates, and the concepts of latent and specific heat.