Jacques Charles

Physicist, Academic

1746 – 1823

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Who was Jacques Charles?

Jacques Alexandre César Charles was a French inventor, scientist, mathematician, and balloonist. Charles wrote almost nothing about mathematics, and most of what has been credited to him was due to mistaking him with another Jacques Charles, also a member of the Paris Academy of Sciences, entering on May 12, 1785. He was sometimes called Charles the Geometer. Charles and the Robert brothers launched the world's first hydrogen-filled balloon in August 1783; then in December 1783, Charles and his co-pilot Nicolas-Louis Robert ascended to a height of about 1,800 feet in a manned balloon. Their pioneering use of hydrogen for lift led to this type of balloon being named a Charlière.

Charles's law, describing how gases tend to expand when heated, was formulated by Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac in 1802, but he credited it to unpublished work by Jacques Charles.

Charles was elected to the Académie des Sciences in 1795 and subsequently became professor of physics at the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers.

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Born
Nov 12, 1746
Beaugency
Also known as
  • Jacques Alexandre César Charles
  • J A C Charles
Nationality
  • France
Profession
Died
Apr 7, 1823
Paris

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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