The lightest of chemical elements is hydrogen. Over the centuries, a number of chemists and alchemists managed to produce hydrogen, but it wasn’t until 1766 that British chemist Henry Cavendish recognized it as a discrete element. Cavendish dubbed his discovery inflammable air. French chemist Antoine Lavoisier gave it the name hydrogen, a modern combination of Greek roots that literally means generator of water, in 1783, due to the fact that when burned, hydrogen combines with oxygen in the air to produce water.

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