Jacques Charles (1746-1823). 1867 illustration of the French chemist, physicist and aeronaut Jacques Alexandre Cesar Charles. Charles is best known for formulating Charles's law, one of the basic gas laws. However, during his lifetime, Charles was probably better known for launching the first-ever unmanned hydrogen balloon on 1st December 1783, together with fellow balloonist Marie-Noel Robert. He worked on hydrometers, goniometers, heliostats and aerometers, and was elected to the French Academy of Sciences.