Humphry Davy (1778-1829), an English chemist, proved that it was not using
two different metals that made the Voltaic Pile work. The
electricity was actually caused by the chemical reaction caused by the cloth soaked in brine that
Volta had used to increase conductivity. Davy was able to create an electric current from the same
metal in two different fluids with the metal in each fluid touching.
Among his early experiments, he used the Voltaic Pile to decompose water into hydrogen and oxygen. In fact
he used this method to decompose several compounds and in the process discovered several new elements.
Fun Word Fact: The process of decomposing compounds electrically is electrolysis.
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