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René-Just Haüy

René-Just HaüyBorn: 28-Feb-1743
Birthplace: Saint-Just-en-Chaussée, France
Died: 1-Jun-1822
Location of death: Paris, France
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Geologist

Nationality: France
Executive summary: Founder of crystallography

French mineralogist, commonly styled the Abbé Haüy, from being an honorary canon of Notre Dame, was born at St. Just, in the dpartment of Oise, on the 28th of February 1743. His parents were in a humble rank of life, and were only enabled by the kindness of friends to send their son to the Collège de Navarre and afterwards to that of Lemoine. Becoming one of the teachers at the latter, he began to devote his leisure hours to the study of botany; but an accident directed his attention to another field in natural history. Happening to let fall a specimen of calcareous spar belonging to a friend, he was led by examination of the fragments to make experiments which resulted in the statement of the geometrical law of crystallization associated with his name. The value of this discovery, the mathematical theory of which is given by Haüy in his Traité de minéralogie, was immediately recognized, and when communicated to the Academy, it secured for its author a place in that society. Haüy's name is also known for the observations he made in pyro-electricity. When the Revolution broke out, he was thrown into prison, and his life was even in danger, when he was saved by the intercession of Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire. In 1802, under Napoleon, he became professor of mineralogy at the museum of natural history, but after 1814 he was deprived of his appointments by the government of the Restoration. His latter days were consequently clouded by poverty, but the courage and high moral qualities which had helped him forward in his youth did not desert him in his old age; and he lived cheerful and respected until his death at Paris on the 3rd of June 1822.

    University: Collège de Navarre

Author of books:
Essai d'une théorie sur la structure des crystaux (1784)
Exposition raisonne de la théorie de l'électricité et du magnétisme, d'après les principes d'Aepinus (1787)
De la structure considérée comme caractére distinctif des minéraux (1793)
Exposition abrége de la théorie de la structure des cristaux (1793)
Extrait d'un traité élmentaire de minéralogie (1797)
Traité de minéralogie (1801, 5 vols.)
Traité élémentaire de physique (1803-06, 2 vols.)
Tableau comparatif des résultats de la cristallographie, et de l'analyse chimique relativement a la classification des minéraux (1809)
Traité des pierres précieuses (1817)
Traité de cristallographie (1822, 2 vols.)

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