Humphry Davy - Discoverer of Potassium and Calcium and discoverer of alkali and alkaline Earth Metals - WorldOfChemicals

Humphry Davy – discoverer of davy lamp

Article On Humphry Davy

Biography & contributions


Humphry Davy was an English chemist and inventor born on December 17, 1778 – died on May 29, 1829. Davy was best known for his discoveries of potassium, sodium, barium, calcium and for suggesting the anesthetic use of nitrous oxide in human surgery.


He got many prestigious medals and awards such as Copley Medal from Royal Society in the year of 1805, Napoleon Prize from Institut de France in the year of 1806, Royal Medal from Royal Society in the year of 1826.


Davy was also isolated elements called magnesium, strontium, boron. He also invented davy lamp in the year of 1815, invented a form of sacrificial protection for the navy's copper ships.


Davy investigated iodine and proved that diamond is a form of carbon. Davy proved that chlorine was an element and disproved therefore the oxygen theory of acids. He suggested that all acids contain hydrogen.


Potassium overview


Potassium is a very important mineral for the proper function of all cells, tissues, and organs in the human body. It is also an electrolyte, a substance that conducts electricity in the body, along with sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium. Athletes involved in exercise greater than one hour in duration may require larger quantities of potassium rich foods.


The daily intake for potassium is 4,700 mg per day for males and females ages fourteen through adulthood Potassium is crucial to heart function and plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, making it important for normal digestive and muscular function. It works with sodium to maintain the body's normal blood pressure.


Potassium ion diffusion is a key mechanism in nerve transmission, and potassium depletion in animals, including humans, results in various cardiac dysfunctions. Potassium accumulates in plant cells, and thus fresh fruits and vegetables are a good dietary source of it.


Sodium overview


Sodium is a Group 1 element and it is dominated by the +1 ion Na+. Sodium is the primary ion and electrolyte within the body, and it is needed for blood regulation. It is an extremely important electrolyte and an essential ion present in the extracellular fluid (ECF). The minimum daily intake of sodium is 120mg per day. Sodium is generally present in very small quantities in nearly every natural food. Sodium is one of the minerals that help to regulate fluid levels in the human body. Sodium and water balance are closely linked.


Sodium gateways and channels are what pump water into the cell and regulate the amount of extracellular fluid in the body. It is caused due to the failure of the heat regulating system in the human body. Sodium is an important hydrating product contained in many anti-aging creams. It defends against the free radicals that accelerate the aging process.


Sodium plays an important role in the removal of any excess carbon dioxide that has accumulated in the body. Sodium helps to facilitate the absorption of glucose by cells, resulting in the smooth transportation of nutrients in the body’s cell membranes. Sodium shares an association with chlorides and bicarbonates in maintaining a sound balance between two types of ions, both positively charged ions and negatively charged ones.


Sodium can help to maintain normal contractions of the heart. It plays a vital role in maintaining the blood pressure of the human body, but an excessive increase in sodium content can dramatically boost the blood pressure and result in serious health complications.


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