Personal tools
Click to go to the main page.

Henry Cavendish

From Celebrity Atheist List

Jump to: navigation, search

British Scientist.

Henry Cavendish (10 October 1731 – 24 February 1810) British natural philosopher, scientist, and an important experimental and theoretical chemist and physicist. Cavendish is noted for his discovery of hydrogen or what he called "inflammable air". He described the density of inflammable air, which formed water on combustion, in a 1766 paper "On Factitious Airs". Antoine Lavoisier later reproduced Cavendish's experiment and gave the element its name. Cavendish was distinguished for great accuracy and precision in researches into the composition of atmospheric air, the properties of different gases, the synthesis of water, the law governing electrical attraction and repulsion, a mechanical theory of heat, and calculations of the density (and hence the weight) of the Earth. His experiment to weigh the Earth has come to be known as the Cavendish experiment.


1.) Dan Barker (2011). The Good Atheist: Living a Purpose-Filled Life Without God. Ulysses Press. p. 170. ISBN 9781569758465. "He did not attend church and was considered an agnostic. “As to Cavendish's religion, he was nothing at all,” writes his biographer Dr. G. Wilson."

2.) George Wilson (1851). The life of the Hon. Henry Cavendish: including abstracts of his more important scientific papers, and a critical inquiry into the claims of all the alleged discoverers of the composition of water. Printed for the Cavendish Society. pp. 181–185. "A Fellow of the Royal Society, who had good means of judging, states that, "As to Cavendish's religion, he was nothing at all. The only subjects in which he appeared to take any interest, were scientific. ..." ...From what has been stated, it will appear that is would be vain to assert that we know with any certainty what doctrine Cavendish held concerning Spiritual things; but we may with some confidence affirm, that the World to come did not engross his thoughts; that he gave no outward demonstration of interest in religion, and did join his fellow men in worshipping God. ...He died and have no sign, rejecting human sympathy, and leaving us no means of determining whether he anticipated annihilation, or looked forward to an endless life. ...He did not love; he did not hate; he did not hope; he did not fear; he did not worship as others do. He separated himself from his fellow men, and apparently from God."