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Prof. Joseph Black


1728 - 1799

Chemist. Born in Bordeaux (France), the son of a wine merchant, Black was educated in Belfast and Glasgow, in the latter under the tutelage of William Cullen (1710-90). He was appointed Professor of Anatomy and Chemistry at the University of Glasgow (1756) and then Professor of Medicine and Chemistry in the University of Edinburgh (1766), succeeding Cullen who had moved to Edinburgh in 1755. He developed the concept of "Latent Heat" and discovered the gas Carbon Dioxide (or CO2), which he described as "Fixed Air" and realised was a constituent of the atmosphere. He is regarded as the Father of Quantitative Chemistry. Black had residences at Sylvan House on the Meadows and in Nicholson Street. He died in Edinburgh, and is buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard.


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