'Cavendish's experiment', 1785. Coloured dr
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Cavendish's experiment', 1785. Coloured drawing of Cavendish's experiment on the combination of atmospheric nitrogen and oxygen by the passage of electric sparks. Henry Cavendish (1731-1810) was an English natural philosopher and chemist. He attended Peterhouse College, Cambridge, but left without a degree. Having inherited a fortune from his uncle he lived as a recluse in London, devoting his life to scientific investigations.