Humphry Davy: Science and Power

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In his exploration of Davy's life and times, Knight has vividly depicted what it was like to be a creative scientist in Regency England, and has demonstrated the development of science and its institutions during this crucial historical period." Chemical & Engineering News
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521565394
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2006
  • Series: Cambridge Science Biographies Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 236
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; General Editor's Preface; Introduction; 1. Beginning: the Meaning of Life; 2. Growing up; 3. Clifton; 4. The Bright Day; 5. Electric affinity; 6. Forces, powers and chemistry; 7. A Chemical Honeymoon, in France; 8. The Safety Lamp; 9. A Son in Science: Davy and Faraday; 10. President; 11. Salmonia; 12. Consolations; Notes; Select bibliography; Index.

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