The Chemist John Dalton Essay

918 words - 4 pages

In chemistry there are many renowned scientists. One of the more well-known scientists is John Dalton. He revolutionized the way we view chemistry through his observations and theories. He had many theories that still affect us in the present day. One that stands out in particular is his atomic theory. Without all of his contributions our modern world could not thrive like it is currently.
John Dalton from a very young age was intelligent. Born in 1766 Cumberland, England he grew up with his family who were all tradesmen. When he was twelve years old he started as a teacher’s assistant at a Quaker school. He continued that role until he was fourteen. At fourteen Dalton went to a farm for a ...view middle of the document...

Being one of the few color blind chemists, Dalton had a different perspective on many things. For example Dalton was the first to publish the generalization that all gasses initially of the same temperature expand equally on going to the same higher temperature. He also proposed “Dalton’s Law” also called Dalton’s Law of Partial pressures [“John Dalton Biography.”]. This states that the total pressure exerted by the mixture of non-reactive gasses is equal to the sum of partial pressures of individual gasses. This is important because it can help people who go to radical heights or depths. The effect a gas has on the human body is based on the partial pressure that gas uses, not on the percentage of the air it makes up. For example, when mountain climbers climb Everest, they have to take oxygen. At the top of Mount Everest, the percentage of oxygen in the air is still the same, but the atmospheric pressure is lower so the partial pressure of oxygen is lower. On the other hand while scuba diving when someone is at very low depths the effect goes in the other direction. The partial pressures increase as you go deeper. Dalton theorized this in 1801. He also pointed out that air is not a vast chemical solvent, as Antoine Lavoisier and his followers thought; it was a mechanical system [“John Dalton.” Chemical]. Not only was he talented in Meteorology, but through his view on meteorology he got his view of atomism by way of Meteorology.
Dalton’s view on atomism changed the world we know today. Early in the 19th century he proposed his Atomic Theory. This theory had five main points. The first point was that elements are made of extremely small particles called atoms. Next Atoms of a given element are the same in...

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