Reaumur, Rene Antoine Ferchault de (1683-1757), a French naturalist and physicist. He invented an alcohol thermometer (1731) and devised the temperature scale that bears his name. The Reaumur scale, used in parts of Europe well into the 20th century, was the first scale to use zero for the freezing point of water. Reaumur also conducted an official study of French industry and did valuable research on porcelain. He made intensive studies of insects and sea animals and proved that corals are animals, not plants.
Reaumur was born in La Rochelle and studied mathematics and physics under tutors in Paris.