Humphry Davy

Humphry Davy nsIn existographies, Humphry Davy (1778-1829) (IQ:185|#66) (Cattell 1000:203) [RGM:1265|1,500+] (Murray 4000:5|C) (Partington 50:11) (GPE:43) (GCE:12) (CR:63) was an English chemist and physicist; noted for his 1799 “ice-rubbing experiments”, for his work on the conservation of force, among other areas of research, such as the discovery of many elements.

Caloric theory | frictional theory
On 22 February 1799 Davy, writing to Davies Gilbert on the subject of caloric theory, stated:

“I am now as much convinced of the non-existence of caloric as I am of the existence of light.”

Sometime before or after this letter, in 1799, Davy performed his famous “ice-rubbing experiments”, where in a room colder than the freezing point of water, he generated heat or made ice melt by the mechanical rubbing of cubes together.

By doing this, Davy demonstrated the conversion of work into heat and that indefinite amounts of heat could be generated from a body, this being contrary to caloric theory, which limits the amount. [1]

Arc light
In 1802, Davy built a battery and connected wires from it to a piece of carbon, which glowed; this was known as the “electric arc”, forerunner to the light bulb (Edison, 1878). (Ѻ)

Human
In 1813, Davy compared man to a "point atom".

Affinity theory
Davy's 1806 lecture “On Some Chemical Agencies of Electricity” was said to be very influential to 19th century chemical affinity theory.

Conservation of force
Davy was one of the first, along side of Isaac Newton, Gottfried Leibniz, Daniel Bernoulli, Benjamin Thomson, to have enunciated the view that force is conserved as in the conservation of force. [3]

Influence
Davy was the mentor to Michael Faraday. (Ѻ)

References
1. Milestones in Thermodynamics – Thermal Physics, University of Notre Dame.
2. Levere, Trevor, H. (1971). Affinity and Matter – Elements of Chemical Philosophy 1800-1865. Great Britain: Oxford University Press.
3. Helmholtz, Hermann. (1862). “On the Conservation of Force: Introduction to a Series of Lectures Delivered at Carlsruhe in the Winter of 1862-63” [URL]. In Scientific Papers: the Harvard Classics. Translated by Edmund Atkinson.

External links
Humphry Davy – Wikipedia.
Humphry Davy – Eric Weisstein’s World of Scientific Biography.

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