Henry Cavendish

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Henry Cavendish

Henry Cavendish (10 October 1731-24 February 1810) was a British scientist. He is famous for discovering hydrogen.[1]

He measured the Earth's mass and density with Cavendish Experiment. He studied at Peterhouse, which is part of the University of Cambridge but he could not graduate from there.

He built a laboratory near London, where he worked for nearly fifty years, but he only published about 20 scientific papers. Even so, he is called one of the greatest scientists of his period.

Cavendish claimed that the force between the two electrical objects gets smaller as they get further apart. If the distance between them doubled, the force would be one quarter what it was before. This was based on the inverse-square law. He explained the concept of electric potential, which was already known in Math but had been never used in electrical experiments until that day. He developed the thought of all points on a good conductor's surface have the same potential energy beside a common reference point. Because of no possibility to measure electric current, he used his body as a machine which measures strength of electric current. All Cavendish's explorations in his notebook was found and confirmed by James Clerk Maxwell.

References[change | edit source]

  1. Gay, Peter; Time-Life Books (1966). "The Practical Philosophers". Age of Enlightenment. Time. pp. 27.