This type of filter was invented by Charles Chamberland (1851-1908), a French microbiologist and colleague of Louis Pasteur. Chamberland showed that porous materials such as porcelain, when slightly heated, can keep hold of fine particles in suspension. By placing a piece of porcelain in a glass tube he created a sterilisation process for liquids which worked better than contemporary techniques. It was also useful for purifying water. Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) and Chamberland worked together studying chicken cholera and anthrax, two diseases which had had a huge impact on French agriculture, killing large numbers of animals. They used the Chamberland filter in their experiments, which were based on the germ theory of disease.
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Branch of biology that deals with micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and their effects.
A porous device designed to block certain objects or substances whilst letting others through. Filters are often used to removed solids from a liquid or gas.
To make an object free of live bacteria or other micro-organisms. Usually achieved by heat or chemical means.
The study of a group of single-celled organisms called bacteria.
A disease found in humans and other animals. It can be transmitted to humans through contact with animal hide or excrement. In humans it attacks the lungs (causing pneumonia) or the skin (producing skin ulcers). It can be fatal, but is treatable by penicillin.
Glossary: germ theory
The theory that germs cause disease, often by infection through the air. The germ theory was formally proven by Robert Koch in 1875.