The Bakerian Lecture, on Some Chemical Agencies of Electricity. Humphry DAVY.
The Bakerian Lecture, on Some Chemical Agencies of Electricity.
The Bakerian Lecture, on Some Chemical Agencies of Electricity.

The production of metallic sodium and potassium by electrolysis

The Bakerian Lecture, on Some Chemical Agencies of Electricity.

London: 1807.

1st Edition. Hardcover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #001860

Journal extract from: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London for the Year 1806, Vol. 97, Part One, published 1807. Slim 4to, pp. 1-56. Volume title, plus engraved plate at rear, some spotting, recent blue buckram gilt. ----

Sparrow 52, PMM 255 (remark) - Davy found that when he passed electrical current through some substances, these substances decomposed, (a process later called electrolysis). Davy must have known of Lavoisier's suggestion that the alkali earths were s of unknown metals. At first, he tried to separate the metals by electrolyzing aqueous solutions of the alkalis, but this yielded only hydrogen gas. He then tried passing current through molten compounds, and his persistence was rewarded when he was able to separate globules of pure metal by this means. His first successes came in 1807 with the separation of potassium from molten potash and of sodium from common salt. He described potassium as particles which, when thrown into water, "skimmed about excitedly with a hissing sound, and soon burned with a lovely lavender light." Dr. John Davy, Humphry's brother, said that Humphry "danced around and was delirious with joy" at his discovery. These results were presented in his second Bakerian lecture of November, 1807.

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