Louis Pasteur Biography

Louis Pasteur was born on December 27, 1822, in Dole, Jura, France, to a Catholic family of a poor tanner. He was the third child of Jean-Joseph Pasteur and Jeanne-Etiennette Roqui.

He was an average student in his early years, and not particularly academic, as his interests were fishing and sketching.

Pasteur attended secondary school at the Collège d’Arbois. In October 1838, he left for Paris to join the Pension Barbet, but became homesick and returned in November.

In 1839, he entered the Collège Royal at Besançon to study philosophy and earned his Bachelor of Letters degree in 1840. Later he was appointed a tutor at the Besançon college while continuing a degree science course with special mathematics.

Pasteur failed his first examination in 1841. He managed to pass the baccalauréat scientifique (general science) degree in 1842 from Dijon but with a mediocre grade in chemistry.

In 1843, he passed the test with a high ranking and entered the École Normale Supérieure. In 1845 he received the licencié ès sciences (Master of Science) degree.

Later in 1846, he was appointed professor of physics at the Collège de Tournon in Ardèche, but the chemist Antoine Jérôme Balard wanted him back at the École Normale Supérieureas a graduate laboratory assistant (agrégé préparateur).

He joined Balard and simultaneously started his research in crystallography and in 1847, he submitted his two theses, one in chemistry and the other in physics.

After serving briefly as professor of physics at the Dijon Lycée in 1848, he became professor of chemistry at the University of Strasbourg, where he met and courted Marie Laurent, daughter of the university’s rector in 1849. He married on May 29, 1849, and together had five children, only two of whom survived to adulthood; the other three died of typhoid.

Louis Pasteur Images

Louis Pasteur Image
Image of Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur Inventions

People remembered him for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and prevention of diseases, and his discoveries have saved many lives ever since. He reduced mortality from puerperal fever, and created the first vaccines for rabies and anthrax.

The general public best know for his invention of the technique of treating milk and wine to stop bacterial contamination, a process now called pasteurization. Doctors regarded him as one of the three main founders of bacteriology and popularly known as the “father of microbiology

Louis Pasteur Experiment

Pasteur also wrote about alcoholic fermentation and published full form in 1858. Jöns Jacob Berzelius and Justus von Liebig had proposed the theory that fermentation.

Pasteur demonstrated that this theory was incorrect, and that yeast was responsible for fermentation to produce alcohol from sugar. He also demonstrated that, when a different microorganism contaminated the wine, it produced lactic acid, making the wine sour.

In 1861, Pasteur observed that less sugar fermented per part of yeast when he exposed the yeast to air.

The lower rate of fermentation aerobically became known as the Pasteur effect. Pasteur’s research also showed that the growth of micro-organisms was responsible for spoiling beverages, such as beer, wine and milk.

Louis Pasteur Discoveries

Pasteur made significant discoveries in chemistry, most notably on the molecular basis for the asymmetry of certain crystals and racemization.

Early in his career, his investigation of tartaric acid resulted in the first resolution of what is now called optical isomers. His work led the way to the current understanding of a fundamental principle in the structure of organic compounds.

Louis Pasteur Facts

Louis Pasteur was a French biologist, microbiologist and chemist renowned for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation and pasteurization.

In Paris, he established the Pasteur Institute in 1887, in which he was its director.

Pasteur experiments are often cited as against medical ethics, especially on his vaccination of Meister.

After developing the rabies vaccine, Pasteur proposed an institute for the vaccine.

In 1868, Pasteur suffered a severe brain stroke that paralysed the left side of his body, but he recovered. A stroke or uremia in 1894 severely impaired his health.

Failing to fully recover, he died on September 28, 1895, near Paris. The government gave him a state funeral and buried him in the Cathedral of Notre Dame, but later re interred in the Pasteur Institute in Paris

Louis Pasteur Achievements

The Pharmaceutical Society awarded Pasteur 1,500 francs in 1853 for the synthesis of racemic acid.

Later the French Academy of Sciences awarded Pasteur the 1859 Montyon Prize for experimental physiology in 1860, and the Jecker Prize in 1861 and the Alhumbert Prize in 1862 for his experimental refutation of spontaneous generation.

In 1873 the member of Académie Nationale de Médecine elected Pasteur as its member.  Later Brazilian Government made him the commander in the Brazilian Order of the Rose.

The French Government made Pasteur Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1853,and later to Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor in 1881.

Louis Pasteur Quotes

In the field of observation, chance favours only the prepared mind.

There are no such things as applied sciences, only applications of science.

Fermentation is … life without air, it is life without free oxygen.

Without laboratories men of science are soldiers without arms.

All things are hidden, obscure and debatable if the cause of the phenomena is unknown, but everything is clear if its cause be known.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *