According to Glymour, the great triumph of Dalton's introduction of the atomic hypothesis was that with it together with the law of the additivity of masses he was able to explain all instances of the law of definite proportions
. That is, the atomic hypothesis in conjunction with the law of additivity of masses provides bootstrap tests of the law of definite proportions
In 1789 Antoine Lavoisier formulated the law of conservation of mass, and in 1799 Joseph-Louis Proust stated the law of definite proportions
, allowing chemists to distinguish between mixtures and compounds.
He went on to make a similar case for a number of other compounds and maintained that there was a general law of definite proportions
, often called Proust's law.