View previous topic | View next topic

John Dalton

Page 1 of 1

46018.  Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:48 pm Reply with quote

Born 1766 in Cockermouth, into a Quaker family of weavers, Dalton was so precocious that he was put in charge of the local Quaker school at the age of 12. He eventually moved to Manchester, still teaching school, and while continuing to do so produced books and papers on a wide range of subjects.

One of them was on a condition from which he suffered - colour blindness - which was for many years called Daltonism because of his research.

However, his reputation was founded on a book called A New System of Chemical Philosophy, published in 1808. In this book he wrote about atoms. The idea was not new - it had been developed first by the ancient Greeks. Dalton's contribution was to come up with the relative sizes and characters of atoms, and how they fitted together. He gave hydrogen, the lightest element known, an atomic weight of one, and slotted other elements in from there.

Although he wasn't always accurate, the principle formed the basis for all of modern chemistry, and his entry in the DNB is one of the longest for 19th century scientists.

Dalton, a modest and retiring individual, was elected to the Royal Society against his wishes, and given medals and a government pension. When he died in 1844, 40,000 people viewed the coffin.

Source: Bill Bryson's Short History of Nearly Everything.

46025.  Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:58 pm Reply with quote


46028.  Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:05 pm Reply with quote

Hello garrick, my dear old baked bean, and a HNY to you too :-)

QI Individual
46071.  Mon Jan 16, 2006 3:34 pm Reply with quote

And it shouldn't go unmentioned of course that in chemistry the (as of yet unofficial) unit Dalton (Da) is used to denote atomic mass.

One Dalton = 1/12 the weight of a neutral atom of Carbon-12.

49511.  Mon Feb 06, 2006 1:18 am Reply with quote

See also "Dozens" thread post 33112 towards the end of the first post.

Mr Grue
49512.  Mon Feb 06, 2006 4:16 am Reply with quote

Um. I'm not too worried, but should I be able to see anything in the bottom right roundel?

49513.  Mon Feb 06, 2006 4:22 am Reply with quote

I see a blasphemous image of the Prophet Ezekial.

Mr Grue
49514.  Mon Feb 06, 2006 4:29 am Reply with quote

Or two angel's kissing in an orchid?

"Naked lady... naked lady... naked lady... naked lady..."
"My God man! You're obssessed with sex!"
"Well you're the one with all the dirty pictures."

49516.  Mon Feb 06, 2006 4:53 am Reply with quote

I think it's an ebola virus, but that could just be my creaky retinas.

49535.  Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:18 am Reply with quote

Bottom right has a badly written 2 in it.

Mr Grue
49634.  Tue Feb 07, 2006 6:44 am Reply with quote

Interestingly, the equally prodigesque Philo Farnsworth, inventor of the moving television, also had a fringe Christian background, his parents being members of the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

Is this significant, do you think?


Page 1 of 1

All times are GMT - 5 Hours

Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group