Humphry Davy

Quick Facts

Full NameSir Humphry Davy, 1st Baronet, FRS, MRIA, FGS
Birth Date17 December 1778
BirthplacePenzance, Cornwall, England
Death Date29 May 1829
Place of DeathGeneva, Switzerland
Known forInventing the Davy lamp and an early form of arc lamp; isolating potassium, sodium, calcium, strontium, barium, magnesium, and boron using electricity; discovering the elemental nature of chlorine and iodine; studying electrochemistry; discovering clathrate hydrates
AwardsCopley Medal (1805), Prix du galvanisme (1807), Rumford Medal (1816), Royal Medal (1827)
Scientific CareerFields: Chemistry; Institutions: Royal Society, Royal Institution; 23rd President of the Royal Society (1820–1827)
Notable ContributionsExperimenting with nitrous oxide and identifying its potential as an anesthetic (nicknamed “laughing gas”); conducting research in electrochemistry; discovering the effects of electricity on chemical elements; inventing the Davy lamp for miners’ safety
MembershipPresident of the Royal Society (PRS), Member of the Royal Irish Academy (MRIA), Fellow of the Geological Society (FGS), member of the American Philosophical Society
PublicationsNotable works include the 1806 Bakerian Lecture On Some Chemical Agencies of Electricity

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