John Dalton
240px-John Dalton by Charles Turner

John Dalton

Born 6 September 1766

EaglesfieldCumberland, England

Died 27 July 1844 (aged 77)

Manchester, England

Notable students James Prescott Joule
Known for Atomic theoryLaw of Multiple ProportionsDalton's Law of Partial PressuresDaltonism
Notable awards Royal Medal(1826)
128px-John Dalton Signature c1827.svg


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John Dalton was an English chemist, physicist and meterologist. He is best known for his pioneering work in the development of modern atomic theory, and his research into colour blindness(sometimes referred to as Daltonism, in his honour).

Atomic TheoryEdit

In 1800, Dalton became a secretary of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, and in the following year he orally presented an important series of papers, entitled "Experimental Essays" on the constitution of mixed gases; on the pressure of steam and other vapours at different temperatures, both in a vacuum and in air on evaporation; and on the thermal expansion of gases.[1]

Dalton's Early LifeEdit

Dalton was born into a modest Quaker family in Cumberland, England around 5th September 1766. He got his early education from his father and his teacher, John Fletcher of the Quakers’ school at Eaglesfield, on whose retirement in 1778 he himself began teaching. He spent most of his life teaching and giving public lectures. After serving ten years at a Quaker boarding school in Kendal, in 1793 he took another teaching position in the rapidly increasing city of Manchester. There he taught math and natural philosophy at the “New College” until 1800, when he resigned due to worsening financial condition of the college. Afterwards he gave private tuitions for mathematics and natural philosophy.[2]

Most of the credit of Dalton’s interests in mathematics and meteorology goes to Elihu Robinson, an experienced meteorologist and instrument maker who greatly influenced his initial years of life. At Kendal, Dalton proposed solutions of problems and questions on various subjects to the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Diaries, and starting in 1787 he maintained a meteorological diary in which during the succeeding fifty-seven years he entered over 200,000 observations.[2]

His first separate publication was Meteorological Observations and Essays (1793), which explained many of his later discoveries; but in spite of the originality of its content, the book met with only a limited attention. Another work by him was published in 1801 as Elements of English Grammar.

  1. From Wikipedia:
  2. 2.0 2.1
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