Antoine Lavoisier earns the nickname "Father of Modern Chemistry" for his profound contributions to the field of chemistry, including the creation of the theory of oxygen's chemical reactivity and joint authorship of the modern system of nomenclature for chemical elements. Antoine Lavoisier, whose full name is Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, initially earned a law degree in accordance with the wishes of his father, a prominent lawyer himself. Ultimately, Lavoisier turned to a career in the sciences, his primary field of interest.
Lavoisier belongs to a group of distinguished 18th century scientists, including Joseph Priestley. He started his career as a geologist, earning himself a spot in 1768 in the Academy of Sciences, an elite scientific establishment in France.
Lavoisier then moved into chemistry in 1775 after accepting appointment as commissioner of the Royal Gunpowder and Saltpeter Administration. Working in the Paris Arsenal, Lavoisier improved the quality and quantity of gunpowder using scientific techniques. His constant experimentation with weights and regents created refined gunpowder granules over a short period of time. These experiments eventually led to development of the law of conservation of mass, which proposes the conservation of matter through all reactions. Lavoisier receives credit for naming oxygen, and for proving that water consists of oxygen and hydrogen. He named other substances as well, and isolated over 30 elements, rendered incapable of breaking down into simpler forms.