Henry Cavendish, FRS (10 October 1731 - 24 February 1810) was a British scientist 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 is also known for the Cavendish experiment, his measurement of the Earth's density, and early research into electricity.

Henry Cavendish was born on 10 October 1731 in Nice, France, where his family was living at the time. His mother was Lady Anne Grey, daughter of the Duke of Kent and his father was Lord Charles Cavendish, son of 2nd Duke of Devonshire. The family traces its lineage across eight centuries to Norman times and was closely connected to many aristocratic families of Great Britain.

At age 11, Cavendish was a pupil at Peter Newcome's School in Hackney. At age 18 (in 1749) he entered the University of Cambridge in St Peter's College, now known as Peterhouse, but left four years later without graduating. His first paper, "Factitious Airs", appeared thirteen years later, in 1766.

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