French chemist who discovered the elements chromium and beryllium. Vauquelin was born in Normandy, and worked as a young boy in an apothecary, where he gained an interest in chemistry. He became close with Antoine-François Fourcroy, and was hired as his laboratory assistant. Vauquelin soon surpassed his mentor, becoming a prolific writer in the field of analytical chemistry. He was also a teacher, and was one of the first to use the laboratory method of instructing students. In 1798, he discovered beryllium in beryl and isolated chromium in lead ore obtained from Siberia. Vauquelin also discovered quinic acid, asparagines, camphoric acid, and several other organic substances.
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