We also learned that the prefixes for sour or sharp taste are the same. How come?
|Antoine Lavoisier. Source: Wikipedia|
Although other scientists like Joseph Priestley and Carl Wilhelm Scheele complained that Lavoisier was not the first one who found oxygen, he was the first person to conduct the first adequate quantitative experiments on oxidation and give the first correct explanation of how combustion works.
He discredited the 'phlogisticated air' theory, noting that after he burned elements like phosphorus, mercury and sulfur, the overall weight did not change at all. When he heated red calx (mercury oxide, HgO), this substance is being released back into the air.
Because the compound generated from burning phosphorus, mercury or mercury are acidic, he named this 'vital air' to 'oxygen', mistakenly thought oxygen is the constituent of all acids. Chemists in 19th century proved that hydrogen is the component of all acid, but by then the name is too well established.
Lovoisier was killed in the French Revolution. According to a (probably apocryphal) story, the appeal to spare his life so that he could continue his experiments was cut short by the judge: "La République n'a pas besoin de savants ni de chimistes; le cours de la justice ne peut être suspendu." ("The Republic has no need of scientists or chemists; the course of justice cannot be delayed.")