Humphry Davy: Science and Power

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 5, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 218 pages
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In this illuminating and entertaining biography David Knight draws upon Humphry Davy's poetry, notebooks and informal writings to introduce us to one of the first professional scientists. Davy is best remembered for his work on laughing gas, for the arc lamp, for isolating sodium and potassium, for his theory that chemical affinity is electrical and, of course, for his safety lamp. His lectures on science made the fortunes of the Royal Institution in London, and he taught chemistry to the young Faraday. He is also recognized for his poetry and was the friend of Coleridge, Wordsworth and Byron. By investigating Davy's life Knight shows what it was like to be a creative scientist in Regency England, demonstrating the development of science and its institutions during this crucial period in history.
 

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Contents

Beginning the Meaning of Life
1
Growing Up
13
Clifton
26
The Bright Day
42
Electric Affinity
57
Forces Powers and Chemistry
73
A Chemical Honeymoon in France
89
The Safety Lamp
105
A Son in Science Davy and Faraday
121
President
139
Salmonia
154
Consolations
168
Notes
185
Select Bibliography
207
Index
211
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About the author (1998)

David Knight is a writer. He lives in Colorado.

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