Le Chatelier's Principle

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Le Chatelier’s Principle

(i) Biography

Born on October 8, 1850 in Paris, France, Henry-Louis Le Chatelier is a French chemist best known for his principle, the Le Chatelier Principle, which has made it possible for chemists to determine and predict the effects of changing conditions on chemical reactions. These changes include, but are not limited to, temperature, pressure and concentration (Clark, 2002).

Le Chatelier was the oldest of six siblings in a privileged, Roman Catholic family, which allowed him to obtain a prestigious education. Le Chatelier attended College Rollin in Paris, where he worked towards two undergraduate degrees, obtaining them in 1867 and 1868. Le Chatelier then attended École Polytechnique a year later, in 1869, before transferring to the mining engineering program at École des Mines in Paris, graduating in 1873. Three years later, Le Chatelier married Genevieve Nicolas, and they had seven children (Lette, 2007). Le Chatelier worked as a mining engineer in Paris, and in 1877, he became a chemistry lecturer at Écoles des Mines. Le Chatelier had a personal laboratory, where he contributed to the Firedamp Commission, which was an effort to improve safety in mines. While working alongside mineralogist Ernest-Francois Mallard, Le Chatelier conducted experiments with explosives from which he gathered information to publish his first journal of scientific study. While working with these explosives, the results led Le Chatelier to improve measurements at very high temperatures, basing his studies on the thermocouple principle. During this study, Le Chatelier perfected the coupling of platinum with a platinum-rhodium alloy resulting in the development of the thermoelectric pyrometer, a device that indicates ...

... middle of paper ... the left. This occurs because the rate of the reverse reaction is greater than the rate of the forward reaction when the volume of the system is decreased and the pressure is increased.

(e) There is no change in equilibrium when an inert gas (noble gas, therefore outer valence shell is full, making the molecule very stable) is added to the reaction without changing the volume, since the amount of reactants and products does not change.


Aus-E-Tute. (2006). Le Chatelier’s Principle. Retrieved from

Clark, J. (2002). Le Chatelier’s Principle. Retrieved from

Davies et al. (2003). Nelson Chemistry 12.

Lette, M. (2007). Henry-Louis Le Chatelier. Retrieved from
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