'A New System of Chemical Philosophy: Volume 1'
By John Dalton (Author)
'A New System of Chemical Philosophy: Volume 2'
By John Dalton (Author)
The renowned English chemist and meteorologist John Dalton (1766-1844) published A New System of Chemical Philosophy in two volumes, between 1808 and 1827. Dalton's discovery of the importance of the relative weight and structure of particles of a compound for explaining chemical reactions transformed atomic theory and laid the basis for much of what is modern chemistry.
Volume 1 was published in two parts, in 1808 and 1810. Part 1 offers an account of Dalton's atomic theory. It contains chapters on temperature, the constitution of bodies, chemical synthesis and a number of plates including his famous table of symbols for the atoms of various elements. Part 2 contains a chapter on elementary principles and twelve sections on different groups of two-element compounds. Dalton's work is a monument of nineteenth-century chemistry. It will continue to be read and enjoyed by anybody interested in the history and development of science.
Volume 2 was published in 1827. It contains sections examining the weights and structures of two-element compounds in five different groups: metallic oxides; earthly, alkaline and metallic sulphurets; earthly, alkaline and metallic phosphurets; carburet; and metallic alloys. An appendix contains a selection of brief notes and tables, including a new table of the relative weights of atoms. A planned second part was never published. Dalton's work is a monument of nineteenth-century chemistry. It will continue to be read and enjoyed by anybody interested in the history and development of science.
John Dalton FRS (6 September 1766 – 27 July 1844) was an English chemist, meteorologist and physicist. 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).
A bust of Dalton, by Chantrey, was publicly subscribed for and placed in the entrance hall of the Royal Manchester Institution. Chantrey also crafted a large statue of Dalton, now in the Manchester Town Hall. The statue was erected while Dalton was still alive and it has been said: "He is probably the only scientist who got a statue in his lifetime".
In honour of Dalton's work, many chemists and biochemists use the (as yet unofficial) unit dalton (abbreviated Da) to denote one atomic mass unit, or 1/12 the weight of a neutral atom of carbon-12. There is a John Dalton Street connecting Deansgate and Albert Square in the centre of Manchester.
Manchester Metropolitan University has a building named after John Dalton and occupied by the Faculty of Science and Engineering, in which the majority of its Science & Engineering lectures and classes take place. A statue is outside the John Dalton Building of the Manchester Metropolitan University in Chester Street which has been moved from Piccadilly. It was the work of William Theed (after Chantrey) and is dated 1855 (it was in Piccadilly until 1966).
The University of Manchester has a hall of residence called Dalton Hall; it also established two Dalton Chemical Scholarships, two Dalton Mathematical Scholarships, and a Dalton Prize for Natural History. There is a Dalton Medal awarded occasionally by the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society (only 12 times altogether).
Dalton Township in southern Ontario was named for Dalton. It has, since 2001, been absorbed into the City of Kawartha Lakes. However the township name was used in a massive new park: Dalton Digby Wildlands Provincial Park, itself renamed since 2002.
A lunar crater has been named after Dalton. "Daltonism" became a common term for colour blindness and "Daltonien" is the actual French word for "colour blind".
The inorganic section of the UK's Royal Society of Chemistry is named after Dalton (Dalton Division), and the Society's academic journal for inorganic chemistry also bears his name (Dalton Transactions).
The name Dalton can often be heard in the halls of many Quaker schools, for example, one of the school houses in Coram House, the primary sector of Ackworth School, is called Dalton.
Much of his collected work was damaged during the bombing of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society on 24 December 1940. This event promptedIsaac Asimov to say, "John Dalton's records, carefully preserved for a century, were destroyed during the World War II bombing of Manchester. It is not only the living who are killed in war". The damaged papers are now in the John Rylands Library having been deposited in the university library by the Society.