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Jacques Charles

From Academic Kids

Jacques Alexandre Cesar Charles (12 November 1746 - 7 April 1823) was a French chemist who developed the theory of Charles' law around 1787. Charles did not publish his theory; it was published by Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac in 1802.

He was was born at Beaugency, and worked for some years as a clerk in the finance ministry, before pursuing his scientific interests. Charles created the first balloon filled with hydrogen, in 1783, and ascended to a height of around 2 miles.

While testing one of his balloons, he flew off course and landed in a field near the village of Gonesse. The local peasants believed that the balloon (with Charles inside) was a monster. They were frightened into attack by the "beast's" sighs, groans, and horrible smell. The peasants nearly killed Jacques Charles in the confusion.


He was elected to the Acadmie franaise in 1785, and later became a professor of physics.


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