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Encyclopedia > Humphry Davy
On 15 March 2008, Humphry Davy was linked from BBC News, a high-traffic website.
Sir Humphry Davy

Sir Humphry Davy (Henry Howard, 1803)
Born December 17, 1778(1778-12-17)
Penzance, Cornwall, Great Britain
Died May 29, 1829 (aged 50)
Geneva, Switzerland
Field Physicist and Chemist
Institutions Royal Society, Royal Institution
Notable students   Michael Faraday
Known for Electrolysis, sodium, potassium, calcium,magnesium, barium, boron, Davy lamp

Sir Humphry Davy, 1st Baronet FRS (17 December 177829 May 1829) was a British chemist and physicist. He is probably best remembered today for his discoveries of several alkali and alkaline-earth elements, as well as contributions to the discoveries of the elemental nature of chlorine and iodine. He invented the Davy lamp, which proved a boon to miners. Berzelius called Davy's 1806 Bakerian Lecture On Some Chemical Agencies of Electricity[1] "one of the best memoirs which has ever enriched the theory of chemistry."[2] This paper was central to any chemical affinity theory in the first half of the nineteenth century.[3] Image File history File links Web_traffic. ... BBC News is the department within the BBC responsible for the corporations news-gathering and production of news programmes on BBC television, radio and online. ... December 17 is the 351st day of the year (352nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1778 (MDCCLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... Penzance Harbour and surrounding area as seen from the air Penzance (Cornish: Pensans) is a civil parish and port town in the Penwith district of Cornwall, England, UK. Granted various Royal Charters from 1512 onwards and incorporated in 1614,[2] it has a population of 21,168[1] people and... For other uses, see Cornwall (disambiguation). ... is the 149th day of the year (150th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1829 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Geneva (pronunciation //; French: Genève //, German:   //, Italian: Ginevra //, Romansh: Genevra) is the second most populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich), and is the most populous city of Romandy (the French-speaking part of Switzerland). ... Not to be confused with physician, a person who practices medicine. ... A chemist pours from a round-bottom flask. ... For other uses, see Royal Society (disambiguation). ... The Royal Institution of Great Britain was set up in 1799 by the leading British scientists of the age, including Henry Cavendish and its first president George Finch, the 9th Earl of Winchilsea, for diffusing the knowledge, and facilitating the general introduction, of useful mechanical inventions and improvements; and for... Michael Faraday, FRS (September 22, 1791 – August 25, 1867) was an English chemist and physicist (or natural philosopher, in the terminology of that time) who contributed to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. ... In chemistry and manufacturing, electrolysis is a method of separating chemically bonded elements and compounds by passing an electric current through them. ... For sodium in the diet, see Salt. ... General Name, symbol, number potassium, K, 19 Chemical series alkali metals Group, period, block 1, 4, s Appearance silvery white Standard atomic weight 39. ... For other uses, see Calcium (disambiguation). ... General Name, symbol, number magnesium, Mg, 12 Chemical series alkaline earth metals Group, period, block 2, 3, s Appearance silvery white solid at room temp Standard atomic weight 24. ... For other uses, see Barium (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Boron (disambiguation). ... Davy lamp The Davy lamp is a candle containing safety lamp devised in 1815 by Humphry Davy. ... The Fellowship of the Royal Society was founded in 1660. ... December 17 is the 351st day of the year (352nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1778 (MDCCLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 149th day of the year (150th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1829 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... A chemist pours from a round-bottom flask. ... Not to be confused with physician, a person who practices medicine. ... General Name, symbol, number chlorine, Cl, 17 Chemical series halogens Group, period, block 17, 3, p Appearance yellowish green Standard atomic weight 35. ... For other uses, see Iodine (disambiguation). ... Davy lamp The Davy lamp is a candle containing safety lamp devised in 1815 by Humphry Davy. ... Friherre Jöns Jakob Berzelius (August 20, 1779 – August 7, 1848) was a Swedish chemist. ... Chemical affinity results from electronic properties by which dissimilar substances are capable of forming chemical compounds. ...

Contents

Early Life

Davy was born in Penzance, Cornwall, and both his brother John Davy and cousin Edmund Davy were also noted chemists. Penzance Harbour and surrounding area as seen from the air Penzance (Cornish: Pensans) is a civil parish and port town in the Penwith district of Cornwall, England, UK. Granted various Royal Charters from 1512 onwards and incorporated in 1614,[2] it has a population of 21,168[1] people and... For other uses, see Cornwall (disambiguation). ... John Davy (1790-1868) was a British doctor and amateur chemist, and brother of the noted chemist Sir Humphry Davy. ... Edmund Davy (1785 - 5 Nov 1857) was a professor of Chemistry at the Royal Cork Institution from 1813 and professor of chemistry at the Royal Dublin Society from 1826. ...


Public life and work

Sir Humphry revelled in his public status, as his lectures gathered many spectators. He became well known due to his experiments with the physiological action of some gases, including laughing gas (nitrous oxide) - to which he was addicted, once stating that its properties bestowed all of the benefits of alcohol but was devoid of its flaws. Davy later damaged his eyesight in a laboratory accident with nitrogen trichloride.[4] In 1801 he was nominated professor at the Royal Institution of Great Britain and Fellow of the Royal Society, over which he would later preside. Gas phase particles (atoms, molecules, or ions) move around freely Gas is one of the four major states of matter, consisting of freely moving atoms or molecules without a definite shape and without a definite volume. ... For other uses, see Nitrous oxide (disambiguation). ... Nitrogen trichloride, also known as trichloramine, is the chemical compound with the formula NCl3. ... The meaning of the word professor (Latin: [1]) varies. ... The Royal Institution of Great Britain was set up in 1799 by the leading British scientists of the age, including Henry Cavendish and its first president George Finch, the 9th Earl of Winchilsea, for diffusing the knowledge, and facilitating the general introduction, of useful mechanical inventions and improvements; and for... For other uses, see Royal Society (disambiguation). ...


Retirement and further work

Sir Humphry Davy, 1830 engraving based on the painting by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830)
Sir Humphry Davy, 1830 engraving based on the painting by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830)

In 1812 he was knighted, gave a farewell lecture to the Royal Institution, and married a wealthy widow, Jane Apreece. (While generally acknowledged as being faithful to his wife, their relationship was stormy and in his later years Davy travelled to continental Europe alone.) In October 1813 he and his wife, accompanied by Michael Faraday as his scientific assistant (and valet) traveled to France to collect a medal that Napoleon Bonaparte had awarded Davy for his electro-chemical work. Whilst in Paris Davy was asked by Gay-Lussac to investigate a mysterious substance isolated by Bernard Courtois. Davy showed it to be an element, which is now called iodine. The party left Paris in December, travelling south to Italy. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Jane Apreece (1780–1855), was a wealthy London socialite and widow who married Sir Humphry Davy in 1812 to become Lady Davy. ... Michael Faraday, FRS (September 22, 1791 – August 25, 1867) was an English chemist and physicist (or natural philosopher, in the terminology of that time) who contributed to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. ... Bonaparte as general Napoleon Bonaparte ( 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a general of the French Revolution and was the ruler of France as First Consul (Premier Consul) of the French Republic from November 11, 1799 to May 18, 1804, then as Emperor of the French (Empereur des Français... Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac. ... Bernard Courtois, also spelled Barnard Courtois, (8 February 1777–27 September 1838) was a French chemist who discovered iodine in 1811. ...


They sojourned in Florence, where, in a series of experiments conducted with Faraday's assistance, Davy succeeded in using the sun's rays to ignite diamond, proving it is composed of pure carbon. Davy's party continued on to Rome, and also visited Naples and Mount Vesuvius. By June 1814, they were in Milan, where they met Alessandro Volta, and continued north to Geneva. They returned to Italy via Munich and Innsbruck, but their plans to travel to Greece and Constantinople (Istanbul) were abandoned after Napoleon's escape from Elba, and they returned to England. This article is about the city in Italy. ... This article is about the mineral. ... For other uses, see Carbon (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Rome (disambiguation). ... Location of the city of Naples (red dot) within Italy. ... This article is about the mountain in Italy. ... Type Anti-tank Nationality Joint France/Germany Era Cold War, modern Launch platform Individual, Vehicle Target Vehicle, Fortification History Builder MBDA, Bharat Dynamics (under license) Date of design 70s Production period since 1972 Service duration since 1972 Operators 41 countries Variants MILAN 1, MILAN 2, MILAN 2T, MILAN 3, MILAN... This article is about the physicist Alessandro Volta. ... Geneva (pronunciation //; French: Genève //, German:   //, Italian: Ginevra //, Romansh: Genevra) is the second most populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich), and is the most populous city of Romandy (the French-speaking part of Switzerland). ... For other uses, see Munich (disambiguation). ... Innsbruck is a city in western Austria, and the capital of the federal state of Tyrol. ... This article is about the city before the Fall of Constantinople (1453). ... Elba (bottom centre) from space, February 1994. ...


In 1818, Davy was awarded a baronetcy, and two years later he became President of the Royal Society. For the brush-footed butterfly species, see Euthalia nais. ... For other uses, see Royal Society (disambiguation). ...


Davy lamp

The Davy lamp

After his return to England in 1815, Davy perfected the Davy lamp which was widely used by miners. Although the idea of the safety lamp had already been demonstrated by William Reid Clanny and an engineer, George Stephenson, Davy's use of wire gauze to prevent the spread of flame was quickly copied by both of these inventors in their later designs.
Image File history File links Download high resolution version (491x640, 128 KB) Description: en:Davy lamp (safety lamp for use in coal mines) Source: Bibliothek allgemeinen und praktischen Wissens für Militäranwärter Band III, 1905 / Deutsches Verlaghaus Bong & Co Berlin * Leipzig * Wien * Stuttgart Author: Scan made by Kogo... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (491x640, 128 KB) Description: en:Davy lamp (safety lamp for use in coal mines) Source: Bibliothek allgemeinen und praktischen Wissens für Militäranwärter Band III, 1905 / Deutsches Verlaghaus Bong & Co Berlin * Leipzig * Wien * Stuttgart Author: Scan made by Kogo... Davy lamp The Davy lamp is a candle containing safety lamp devised in 1815 by Humphry Davy. ... Safety lamp is the name of a variety of lamps for safety in coal-mines against coal dust, methane, or firedamp, a highly explosive mixture of natural gas apt to accumulate in them. ... Dr. William Reid Clanny (1770 - 10 January 1850), was born in Bangor, County Down, Ireland. ... George Stephenson George Stephenson For the British politician, see George Stevenson. ...


Discovery of chlorine

He also showed that oxygen could not be obtained from the substance known as oxymuriatic acid and proved the substance to be an element, which he named chlorine. (However Carl Scheele is credited as the discoverer of chlorine. Scheele had discovered it 36 years before Davy, but was unable to publish his findings.) This discovery overturned Lavoisier's definition of acids as compounds of oxygen. This article is about the chemical element and its most stable form, or dioxygen. ... General Name, symbol, number chlorine, Cl, 17 Chemical series halogens Group, period, block 17, 3, p Appearance yellowish green Standard atomic weight 35. ... Carl Wilhelm Scheele Scheeles house with his pharmacy in Köping. ... Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier (August 26, 1743 – May 8, 1794; pronounced ), the father of modern chemistry,[1] was a French nobleman prominent in the histories of chemistry, finance, biology, and economics. ...


Acid-base studies

In 1815 Davy suggested that acids were substances that contained replaceable hydrogen – hydrogen that could be partly or totally replaced by metals. When acids reacted with metals they formed salts. Bases were substances that reacted with acids to form salts and water. These definitions worked well for most of the nineteenth century. For other uses, see Acid (disambiguation). ... This article is about the chemistry of hydrogen. ... For alternative meanings see metal (disambiguation). ... This article is about common table salt. ... Acids and bases: Acid-base extraction Acid-base reaction Acid dissociation constant Acidity function Buffer solutions pH Proton affinity Self-ionization of water Acids: Lewis acids Mineral acids Organic acids Strong acids Superacids Weak acids Bases: Lewis bases Organic bases Strong bases Superbases Non-nucleophilic bases Weak bases edit In...


Electrolysis

Davy was also a pioneer in the field of electrolysis and found that lithium acts as an electrolyte and provides electrical energy. The battery works by the reverse process to electrolysis. In chemistry and manufacturing, electrolysis is a method of separating chemically bonded elements and compounds by passing an electric current through them. ... This article is about the chemical element named Lithium. ... A battery is of one or more electrochemical cells, which store chemical energy and make it available in an electrical form. ...


Death and legacy

Davy's grave, Plot 208, Plainpalais Cemetery, Rue des Rois, Geneva.
Davy's grave, Plot 208, Plainpalais Cemetery, Rue des Rois, Geneva.

Davy died in Switzerland in 1829, his various inhalations of chemicals finally taking their toll on his health. He is buried in the Plain Palais Cemetery in Geneva. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2272 × 1704 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2272 × 1704 pixel, file size: 1. ... Geneva (pronunciation //; French: Genève //, German:   //, Italian: Ginevra //, Romansh: Genevra) is the second most populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich), and is the most populous city of Romandy (the French-speaking part of Switzerland). ...


Davy's laboratory assistant, Michael Faraday, went on to enhance Davy's work and in the end became more famous and influential – to such an extent that Davy is supposed to have claimed Faraday as his greatest discovery. However, he later accused Faraday of plagiarism, causing Faraday (the first Fullerian Professor of Chemistry) to cease all research in electromagnetism until his mentor's death. Michael Faraday, FRS (September 22, 1791 – August 25, 1867) was an English chemist and physicist (or natural philosopher, in the terminology of that time) who contributed to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. ... For other uses, see Plagiarism (disambiguation). ... Classical electrodynamics (or classical electromagnetism) is a theory of electromagnetism that was developed over the course of the 19th century, most prominently by James Clerk Maxwell. ...


Memorial honours

Statue of Davy in Penzance, Cornwall
Statue of Davy in Penzance, Cornwall
  • A lunar crater (Davy) is named after Sir Humphry Davy. It has a diameter of 34 km and coordinates of 11.8S, 8.1W.
  • In Penzance in Cornwall, Davy's hometown, there is a statue of him in front of the imposing Market House, now owned by Lloyds TSB, at the top of Market Jew Street, the town's main high street.
  • There also is a secondary school in Penzance named Humphry Davy School. Like James Prescott Joule and Isaac Newton, Davy is remembered in his hometown by a pub. The Sir Humphry Davy pub is located in Penzance opposite the Greenmarket at the end of Market Jew Street.
  • Davy was the subject of the first ever clerihew.
  • A satellite of the University of Sheffield at Golden Smithies Lane in Wath upon Dearne (Manvers) is called Humphry Davy House and is currently home to the School of Nursing and Midwifery, until April 2009.

Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1200x1600, 600 KB) [edit] Summary Statue of Sir Humphry Davy Market Jew Street, Penzance, Cornwall, United Kingdom June 2006 Author Chris Angove [edit] Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1200x1600, 600 KB) [edit] Summary Statue of Sir Humphry Davy Market Jew Street, Penzance, Cornwall, United Kingdom June 2006 Author Chris Angove [edit] Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects... Davy is a small lunar crater that is located on the eastern edge of the Mare Nubium. ... Penzance Harbour and surrounding area as seen from the air Penzance (Cornish: Pensans) is a civil parish and port town in the Penwith district of Cornwall, England, UK. Granted various Royal Charters from 1512 onwards and incorporated in 1614,[2] it has a population of 21,168[1] people and... For other uses, see Cornwall (disambiguation). ... Lloyds TSB Group plc is a group of financial services companies, based in the United Kingdom, which was created in 1995 following the merger of the TSB Group and the Lloyds Bank Group. ... Secondary school is a term used to describe an institution where the final stage of compulsory schooling, known as secondary education, takes place. ... James Prescott Joule, FRS (IPA: ; December 24, 1818 – October 11, 1889) was an English physicist (and brewer), born in Salford, Lancashire. ... Sir Isaac Newton FRS (4 January 1643 – 31 March 1727) [ OS: 25 December 1642 – 20 March 1727][1] was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, and alchemist. ... A Clerihew (or clerihew) is a very specific kind of humorous verse, typically with the following properties: The first line consists solely (or almost solely) of a well-known persons name The verse is humorous and usually whimsical, showing the subject from an unusual point of view; but it... The University of Sheffield is a research university, located in Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England. ... Wath-upon-Dearne is a small town on the south side of the Dearne Valley in South Yorkshire, lying 5 miles north of Rotherham, close to mid-way between Barnsley and Doncaster. ...

Writings by Davy

See Fullmer's work for a full list of Davy's articles.[5] Davy's books are as follows:

  • Researches, Chemical and Philosophical, Bristol: Biggs and Cottle, 1800
  • Elements of Chemical Philosophy, London: Johnson and Co., 1812
  • Elements Of Agricultural Chemistry In A Course Of Lectures, London, Longman, 1813
  • The Papers of Sir H. Davy, Newcastle: Emerson Charnley, 1816 (on Davy's safety lamp)
  • Discourses to the Royal Society, London: John Murray, 1827
  • Salmonia: Or Days of Fly Fishing, London: John Murray, 1828
  • Consolations in Travel: Or the Last Days of a Philosopher, London: John Murray, 1830

References

  1. ^ On Some Chemical Agencies of Electricity. Retrieved on 2008-03-02.
  2. ^ Berzelius, J. J. (1818). Traite de chimie, trans. Jourdian and Esslinger, vol. 1, pg. 164. 1st Swedish ed. (Larbok i kemien), Stockholm, this ed., 8 vol., Paris (1829-33).
  3. ^ Levere, Trevor H. (1971). Affinity and Matter – Elements of Chemical Philosophy 1800-1865. Gordon and Breach Science Publishers. ISBN 2881245838. 
  4. ^ Humphry Davy (1813). "On a New Detonating Compound". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 103: 1-7.
  5. ^ Fullmer, June Z. (1969). Sir Humphry Davy's Published Work. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 

2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance to the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 61st day of the year (62nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Cover of Cover of the first volume of , published in 1665 The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, or Phil. ...

Further reading

Davy, as painted by James Lonsdale (1777-1839)
  • Davy, John, The Collected Works of Sir Humphry Davy, London: Smith, Elder, and Company, 1839-40
  • Treener, Anne, The Mercurial Chemist, A Life of Sir Humphry Davy London: Methuen, 1963
  • Hartley, Harold, Humphry Davy, London: Nelson, 1966
  • Fullmer, June Z., Sir Humphry Davy's Published Works, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1969
  • Knight, David, Humphry Davy: Science and Power, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1992
  • Lamont-Brown, Raymond, Humphry Davy, Life Beyond the Lamp, Sutton Publishing, 2004
  • Harold Hartley (1960). "The Wilkins Lecture. Sir Humphry Davy, Bt., P.R.S. 1778-1829". Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences 255 (1281): 153-180.

Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
  • Works by Humphry Davy at Project Gutenberg
  • Elements of Chemical Philosophy by Humphry Davy (1812)
  • Salmonia or Days of Fly Fishing by Humphry Davy (1828)
  • Consolations in Travel or The Last Days of a Philosopher by Humphry Davy (1830)
  • Obituary (1830)
  • Dictionary of National Biography (1888)
  • Humphry Davy, Poet and Philosopher by Thomas Edward Thorpe, New York: Macmillan, 1896
  • Young Humphry Davy: The Making of an Experimental Chemist by June Z. Fullmer, Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 2000
  • BBC - Napoleon's medal 'cast into sea'
Awards
Preceded by
Smithson Tennant
Copley Medal
1805
Succeeded by
Thomas Andrew Knight
Persondata
NAME Davy, Sir Humphry
ALTERNATIVE NAMES
SHORT DESCRIPTION Physicist and Chemist
DATE OF BIRTH December 17, 1778(1778-12-17)
PLACE OF BIRTH Penzance, Cornwall, United Kingdom
DATE OF DEATH May 29, 1829
PLACE OF DEATH Geneva, Switzerland
Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Project Gutenberg, abbreviated as PG, is a volunteer effort to digitize, archive and distribute cultural works. ... Smithson Tennant (November 30, 1761 - February 22, 1815) was an English chemist. ... The Copley Medal is a scientific award for work in any field of science, the highest award granted by the Royal Society of London. ... Thomas Andrew Knight (1759-1838) was a horticulturalist and botanist who lived at Downton Castle, Herefordshire. ... Not to be confused with physician, a person who practices medicine. ... A chemist pours from a round-bottom flask. ... December 17 is the 351st day of the year (352nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1778 (MDCCLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... Penzance Harbour and surrounding area as seen from the air Penzance (Cornish: Pensans) is a civil parish and port town in the Penwith district of Cornwall, England, UK. Granted various Royal Charters from 1512 onwards and incorporated in 1614,[2] it has a population of 21,168[1] people and... For other uses, see Cornwall (disambiguation). ... is the 149th day of the year (150th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1829 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Geneva (pronunciation //; French: Genève //, German:   //, Italian: Ginevra //, Romansh: Genevra) is the second most populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich), and is the most populous city of Romandy (the French-speaking part of Switzerland). ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Humphry Davy (576 words)
Humphry Davy (1778–1829), son of an impoverished Cornish woodcarver, rose meteorically to become a leader in the reformed chemistry movement initiated by Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier—albeit a critic of some of its basic premises—and a pioneer in the new field of electrochemistry.
Davy's recognition that the alkalis and alkaline earths were all oxides challenged Lavoisier's theory that oxygen was the principle of acidity.
Davy became a fellow of the Royal Society in 1803 and served as its president from 1820 to 1827.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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