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John Dalton Biography

John Dalton was born in Cumberland, England on September 6 in the year 1276. He was the son of Quakers. Dalton also had siblings. His father owned a small land and a house. His father worked as a smallholder and a weaver. John’s mother was extremely intelligent. Both his parents were of Christian faith, but the Church of England saw them as being skeptics. As a result, besides being poor, John Dalton was only able to attend dissenting schools. As a child, John Dalton was intelligent and had a healthy interest of the world around him. At age 11, Dalton attended a village school. At the age of 15, Dalton helped his brother run a Quaker boarding school. The school was located in a town by the name Kendal. This town was about 40 miles from where he lived. He became familiar in the subjects of math and science. He also learned Greek, French, and Latin. An amateur scientist and mathematician by the name of John Gough, who was blind as well, helped Dalton by training him in mathematics. He al
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John Dalton Quotes

1. Small particles called atoms exist and compose all matter; 2. They are indivisible and indestructible; 3. Atoms of the same chemical element have the same chemical properties and do not transmute or change into different elements. Philosophers are generally persuaded, that the sensations of heat and cold are occasioned by the presence or absence, in degree, of certain principle or quality denominated fire or heat… It is most probable, that all substances whatever contain more or less of this principle. Respecting the nature of the principle, however, there is a diversity of sentiment : some supposing it a substance, others a quality, or property of substance. Boerhaave, followed by most of the moderns, is of the former opinion; Newton, with some others, are of the latter; these conceive heat to consist in an internal vibratory motion of the particles of bodies. There are three distinctions in the kinds of bodies, or three states, which have more especially claimed the attention of p

Dalton’s Atomic Theory

On 21 October 1803 Dalton read a paper to the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society on gas solubility which was not published until 1805. Dalton set out in it a ‘Theory of the Absorption of Gases by Water‘, in eight sections, the last of which must be read in full: the last sentence but one is among the great utterances of modern science. The greatest difficulty attending the mechanical hypothesis, arises from different gases observing different laws. Why does water not admit its bulk of every gas alike? – This question I have duly considered, and though I am not yet able to satisfy myself completely, I am nearly persuaded that the circumstance depends upon the weight and number of the ultimate particles of-the several gases: those whose particles are lightest and single being least absorbable and the others more as they increase in weight and complexity. (Here there is a reference to a footnote which says ‘Subsequent experience renders this conjecture less probable.’ He goes o


The first communication which Dalton ever made to the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester was a paper read on 31 October 1794, entitled, ‘Extraordinary Facts relating to the Vision of Colors: with Observations by Mr. John Dalton’. l Dalton had discovered that he saw colors differently from other people and his paper was the first serious study on color deficiency to be published. So great was the stir produced by Dalton’s defect that for a long time this visual infirmity was known, to his amusement, as ‘Daltonism’. I trust my use of the term on this occasion will not be regarded as a mark of disrespect for the great man. What is Daltonism? Rather than give a textbook answer in terms of wavelength discrimination and color mixture curves, I would prefer to approach the problem as Dalton had to do, unaware at first that his color vision differed from that of most other people and knowing very much less than we now know about the visual processes. This may, indeed, be of some