Talk:Humphry Davy

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High traffic

On 15 March 2008, Humphry Davy was linked from BBC News, a high-traffic website. (See visitor traffic)

Questions[edit]

"Davy became known due to his experiences with the physiological action of some gases." --do you mean experiments with? --Koyaanis Qatsi

Davy had his friends over to do the experiments with them. They were under the influence.

"Davy became well known owing to his experiences with the physiological action of some gases" What is that supposed to say? --Floog

  • Sorry, didn't bother reading above, fixed what it said on the actual page.--Floog
  • Why don't we try to fix the lead article with more facts and a better summary? --Littleburt —Preceding undated comment added 13:12, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Cornish in box and in lede?[edit]

The previous Talk Page thread headed "Cornish?" (started 29 September 2009) has four instances of the word "box". So it was unclear to me that the entire discussion concerned only what should appear in the infobox. It seems we must perhaps possibly should (for the purposes of clarity and to avoid tedious edit wars) now decide what is appropriate for the box and also what is appropriate for the lede section of the article. In my experience, for biographical articles, they are nearly always the same. So I suspect we might need to agree special reasons why they should differ in this article. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:31, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

I don't think "nearly always the same" necessarily means that consistency between the lede and the infobox should apply in this article, as it's clearly contentious. His nationality was, indubitably, British - so, the infobox is correct. The question is whether it's right for the opening sentence to use that (quite correct, but unspecific) term to describe him, or whether it's better to use Cornish as an indicator of his apparent ethnic/cultural heritage. He was both Cornish and British - there's absolutely no inconsistency in that. But I think on balance that describing him as Cornish in the opening sentence is more likely to confuse readers than enlighten them - I'm thinking of the theoretical school pupil in Indonesia who probably has no idea that a Cornish person is also British. Of course, later sentences could and should explain Davy's Cornishness much more thoroughly. Ghmyrtle (talk) 20:46, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
(ec)Must? Are our readers too thick to cope with it as it was? Are they incapable of clicking on a wikilink? I see an IP has jumped in and made the change you (Martinevans123) wanted. The lead does not make any assertions about nationality, what it does do is give a brief account of the chap. DuncanHill (talk) 20:49, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
Please tell me what else "I wanted"? I was seeking consistency, that's all. I've now adjusted away form the nasty m-word. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:05, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
You didn't want the wording you used? Oh. DuncanHill (talk) 21:07, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
I thought the box and text should match. Even though theoretically I'm not in Indonesia. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:10, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't see a need for them to match. They certainly shouldn't contradict each other, but to call him Cornish in the text and say his nationality was British in the infobox is not contradictory. Both are true statements. I can't say I know many Indonesian schoolchildren but I would assume that they are probably just as bright as any others, and perfectly capable of clinking on links. They would also, I am sure, be familiar with the fact that one can be both Balinese and Indonesian (for example) and therefor well-prepared for the idea that someone can be both Cornish and British. DuncanHill (talk) 21:43, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
"Richard Trevithick (13 April 1771 – 22 April 1833) was a British inventor and mining engineer from Cornwall, England..." What's wrong with using similar wording here? Though, personally, I'd dispense with "England". Ghmyrtle (talk) 22:26, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
Seems fine to me. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:30, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
What's wrong with saying Cornish? Is it incomprehensible? Can people not click on the link? If the lead is just to parrot the infobox, then can we get rid of one or the other altogether? DuncanHill (talk) 22:35, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
Comparison with 99% of other bio article ledes means that using "Cornish" there suggests that this was his nationality. The phrase "from Cornwall" conveys roughly the same information, but with less suggestion of nationality. If people click on Cornwall they end up in a similar place? I don't think anyone else is seriously suggesting that we solve this by getting rid of the info box. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:48, 27 June 2015 (UTC) p.s. I'm not suggesting that Indonesian school pupils are "thick" and I don't that Ghm is either.
(e/c)Most people probably can click on the link - but some probably can't, and it shouldn't be a requirement of understanding the article. Why are you opposed to a wording in this article that is identical to one elsewhere that you agreed with? Ghmyrtle (talk) 22:50, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
I see no need for a "one size fits all" approach - indeed, over standardisation makes for a boring and less readable encyclopaedia. If we are to word our articles so that links are unnecessary then we would probably be reduced to "Humphry Davy was a clever man". Don't treat readers like idiots. Don't fail to take advantage of the very thing that makes Wikipedia so good, namely wikilinks. Do see every article as an opportunity to not only educate about the subject but also to introduce the reader to many other subjects. DuncanHill (talk) 23:00, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
Your straw man isn't very clever. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:02, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
(ec)And @Ghmyrtle: in that diff I was undoing a different change by an IP who popped up just to make potentially contentious changes. It had nothing at all to do with the choice of British or Cornish in the lead. Don't misrepresent things. DuncanHill (talk) 23:03, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
That's irrelevant. You edited that article, on several occasions, and if you had thought that "a British inventor and mining engineer from Cornwall" was unacceptable wording, I assume you would have changed it. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:30, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
@Martinevans123: What? DuncanHill (talk) 23:03, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
Who's proposing we reduce this article to the six words "Humphry Davy was a clever man"? Martinevans123 (talk) 23:06, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
Well, you said of clicking links "it shouldn't be a requirement of understanding the article." So - we shouldn't mention galvanic corrosion for example - which although I knew what it was when I was 10 we have to assume most people won't know what it is and won't have the wits to click the link. Plenty more in the article where clicking the link is essential to understanding. DuncanHill (talk) 23:09, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
No, I didn't say that. That was Ghm. I think we should certainly mention galvanic corrosion, Even if we are older than 10. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:14, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
Then you have my apologies for misattributing it to you. I found out what galvanic corrosion is by reading a biography of Davy, not knowing what it was, and then asking people and looking it up. On Wikipedia we have the wonderful advantage of providing the look up in the article via a wikilink. A hypothetical foreigner's unfamiliarity with a word or concept is not grounds for not introducing it, but is grounds for wikilinking it. DuncanHill (talk) 23:18, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, too busy writing "stupid edit summaries" for all those Indonesian school kids passing by. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:25, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
"Do not unnecessarily make a reader chase links... [As] far as possible do not force a reader to use that link to understand the sentence...." Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:17, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
We have two options in front of us:
  • "Sir Humphry Davy... was a Cornish chemist and inventor."
  • "Sir Humphry Davy... was a British chemist and inventor from Cornwall."
Which is clearer, gives the reader the best and more complete set of information, and (for what it's worth) is more compatible with what is in the infobox? Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:24, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

As already mentioned, on Trevithick's page it starts with Richard Trevithick (13 April 1771 – 22 April 1833) was a British inventor and mining engineer from Cornwall, England. so why is it not something like: Sir Humphry Davy, 1st Baronet PRS MRIA FGS (17 December 1778 – 29 May 1829) was a British chemist and inventor,from Cornwall, England. It shows that he comes from cornwall and you can put his nationality as either British or English as cornwall is a county in England which is part of the United Kingdom. Nick876436 (talk) 02:06, 8 October 2016 (UTC)

His nationality IS given as British. I'd be grateful if you could remind us what usernames you have used in the past, as your pattern of editing is extremely familiar. DuncanHill (talk) 08:39, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
The same point is made by User:Ghmyrtle in the thread "Cornish in box and in lede?" below. It might make more sense to continue the discussion there. Perhaps red-link-Nick, you wouldn't mind us moving your comment down there? Martinevans123 (talk) 10:25, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
..... this is the only wikipedia account I've ever had, and might i note that all the edits i made to the lead paragraph ,apart from the part which states his nationality, are still there so i'm hardly trying to vandalize this page.

also i got the trevithick thing from the "Cornish in box and in lede?" box which is why i wrote 'As already mentioned' in my message.

Nick876436 (talk) 17:30, 8 October 2016 (UTC)

Mechanism of safety lamp[edit]

Wire gauze does not impede the flow of any gas, including methane. Is it not the function of the gauze to cool any incandenscent particles before they escape, so they cannot ignite external methane or other flammable gases? Or is there some other mechanism? 82.1.212.98 (talk) 10:55, 30 October 2016 (UTC)

It's mostly to prevent a flame propagating from the interior flame in a gas-rich atmosphere through the mesh and into the gas-rich atmosphere outside.
If you take such a lamp into a gassy atmosphere (this is still done, as a means of testing for gas, see http://s165.photobucket.com/user/pitman47/media/NMG20.jpg.html) then the flame in a gassy atmosphere grows larger - the methane is indeed entering the lamp and adding fuel to the flame. In a very gassy atmosphere, the flame may become less luminous as there's now an over-supply of fuel and too little oxygen.
The safety aspect is that the flame front can't propagate through the mesh. The mesh acts as a heat sink, transferring heat sideways into the metal body of the lamp. The energy available on the flame side is enough to sustain combustion, but the energy on the gassy side, reduced by this conduction, is insufficient to ignite it.
A similar device is used in the pellistor, an electronic sensor for flammable gases. Where these are used in safety-critical situations they use a sintered metal screen, rather than a wire mesh. That gives an equally narrow path, but much longer. There's also more mass of metal to each hole's area. With a wire mesh filter, there is a risk that if the mesh is heated for long enough then it can become hot enough to propagate the flame into the mass of gas. Sintered metal has enough mass to absorb much longer heating without the temperature rising enough for this. Andy Dingley (talk) 19:23, 30 October 2016 (UTC)

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Edit-a-thon: 4 May 2017[edit]

Hello, just to let you know, next week Lancaster University will be hosting an edit-a-thon focusing on Humphry Davy. See the event page here: WP:DAVY. So don't be alarmed if there is activity on this page from several new users! :-) Mark MacD (talk) 09:44, 26 April 2017 (UTC)