Scottish physician and chemist Joseph Black discovered carbon dioxide on June 11, 1754. He noticed that heating calcium carbonate produced a gas much heavier than air. He also noted that it could put out fire. He called the gas "fixed air."
Joseph Black was born on April 16, 1728 in Bordeaux, France, and was one of 15 children. When he was 12, Joseph Black attended a school in Belfast, Ireland, where he learned Greek and Latin. He attended both Edinburgh and Glasgow University as a young man, and the chemistry buildings at both universities are named after him. He is well-known for his discoveries involving specific heat and latent heat along with his discovery of carbon dioxide.