John Dalton

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Dalton, John

Dalton, John (dôlˈtən), 1766–1844, English scientist. He revived the atomic theory (see atom), which he formulated in the first volume of his New System of Chemical Philosophy (2 vol., 1808–27). He had already applied the concept to a table of atomic weights (1803), in a paper (1805) on the absorption of gases, and in developing his famous law of partial pressures, known also as Dalton's law. His interest in weather conditions led him to keep daily records from 1787 and to write Meteorological Observations and Essays (1793). Dalton, himself afflicted with color blindness, investigated (c.1794) the condition, known also as Daltonism. From 1793 he taught mathematics and physical sciences at New College, Manchester. He was a member of the Royal Society (from 1822) and in 1825 received its medal for his work on the atomic theory.


See study by A. Thackray (1972).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dalton, John


Born Sept. 6, 1766, in Eaglesfield, England; died July 27, 1844, in Manchester. English physicist and chemist. Member of the Royal Society of London (1822).

The son of a weaver, Dalton, who was self-educated, taught mathematics in Kendal and Manchester. He was a member (from 1794), secretary (from 1800), and chairman (from 1817) of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society. While studying the properties of gas mixtures, he discovered the law of partial gas pressures (1801) and the dependence of the dissolution of gases on their partial pressures (1803). He investigated the dependence of the evaporation of a liquid on pressure, temperature, and other factors. In 1802 he established (somewhat ahead of J. Gay-Lussac and independently of J. Charles) that at constant pressure all gases expand identically when temperature is increased identically. Dalton wrote fundamental works on chemical atomics. In 1794 he was the first to describe a visual defect (from which he himself suffered) that came to be called Daltonism (color blindness).


Sbornik izbrannykh rabot po atomistike. Leningrad. 1940. (Translated from English. 1802–10.)


Kedrov, B.M. Atomistika Dal’tona. Moscow-Leningrad. 1949.
Henry. W. C. Memoirs of the Life and Scientific Researches of John Dalton. London, 1854.
Smith, R. Memoirs of John Dalton and History of the Atomic Theory up to His Time. London, 1956.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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When he proposed his atomic theory in 1803, John Dalton improved on the Greeks' idea that all matter was composed of tiny, indivisible particles by introducing the concept of atomic weight.
SECRETARY OF THE NAVY JOHN DALTON was right--although for the wrong reasons--when he alleged in October that Admiral Frank Kelso was culpable for a "failure of leadership" in the Tailhook mess.
She recently was selected by Secretary of the Navy John Dalton as the sponsor for the Navy's oceanographic ship, USNS Pathfinder.
The family-run, independent group already has three sites in the city centre: its original mozzarella bar and deli at the Corn Exchange, and its Cucina and Pizzeria Napolitana restaurants on John Dalton Street.
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This great line-up features Mick Avory (the original drummer on all the classic hits from 1964-84), John Dalton (bass/vocals, Kinks 1966 & 1969-'76), Ian Gibbons (keyboards/vocals, Kinks 1979-'96 and still with Ray Davies) with Dave Clarke (guitar/vocals, formerly of the Beach Boys).
The 96th edition of this reference offers profiles of the lives and achievements of four major historical figures in chemistry and physics: Lord Kelvin, Michael Faraday, John Dalton, and Robert Boyle.