May 29, 1829 - Death of Humphry Davy, famous British chemist considered one of the fathers of electrochemistry

Elmer Humphry Davy (December 17, 1778, Cornwall, United Kingdom – May 29, 1829, Geneva, Switzerland)

Davy, despite coming from a very humble family, managed to reach the scientific and social summit (he was named Sir) in his time, thanks to his great effort and high intellectual capacity.

At the age of 23 he was hired by the Royal Institution, of which he was the first professor, to take charge of the chemistry laboratory. There he established an electrochemistry laboratory with which he achieved great fame as a scientist and popularizer.

Davy developed electrochemistry by exploring the use of Volta's cell or battery, helped to identify various chemical elements experimentally for the first time through electrolysis, and studied the energy involved in the process. Thus, he managed to isolate highly reactive metals, such as sodium, potassium, strontium, barium or magnesium; together with Gay-Lussac, he also succeeded in isolating boron. He identified chlorine and iodine as chemical elements, which had previously been discovered, but not recognized as such. Between 1806 and 1808 he published the results of all these investigations on electrolysis.

In 1815 he invented the miner's lamp, which made coal mining safer. He investigated various oxides, especially of nitrogen, such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas) which he used as an anesthetic and which he tested himself.

Along with Alessandro Volta and Michael Faraday (whose boss and mentor), he is considered the founder of electrochemistry.

Elmer Humphry Davy died in Geneva on May 29, 1829.

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