John Dalton was an English man born in September 1766. He was a famous chemist, meteorologist and physicist.
He introduced the atomic theory into chemistry and he was one of the pioneers who researched colour blindness.
The term Daltonism, which is used to describe someone who is colour blind, was named after him.
Continue reading and discover all these amazing facts about John Dalton.
John Dalton Facts
1. John Dalton always knew he wanted to be a scientist
John Dalton was born in Eaglesfield, in Cumberland, England. He received his education from his dad and from a private local school in a nearby village.
Even though his family was really poor and wasn’t able to afford his education, both of his parents made sure he received a good education, at least for a couple of years. Once they had ran out of money, Dalton had to earn his living at the age of 10, an interesting fact about John Dalton.
2. John Dalton’s religion was truly important to him
Dalton’s religion was Christianity. They were all Quakers, whose formal name for his congregation was the Religious Society of Friends. It was also referred to as Friends Church.
Members from the Quaker movements believe they are all interconnected by their beliefs and by the ability each human being has to have access to the light within.
When Dalton was 15, he had to move to Kendal, which was about 45 miles from his family’s house in order to attend a Quaker school. After finishing his studies, he really wanted to become a lawyer or a doctor, something he couldn’t achieve because he was a Dissenter.
The Dissenters were those individuals or families who believed in a different religion in the United Kingdom. This was during a time where the Church of England had a major impact on everybody’s lives, so being a Dissenter meant that they would be barred from many activities, including attending English universities.
Dalton started teaching at the Quaker school he had previously attended and he was really good at it. After four years he became the principal of the school.
3. But John Dalton managed to study something he loved, despite all the difficulties
Since he wasn’t able to attend an English university, he decided to receive informal instruction by John Gough, who was a blind philosopher interested in the sciences and arts. During their time together, Dalton was able to read and learn about many different subjects.
As soon as he turned 27, he moved to Manchester where he was appointed teacher of mathematics and natural philosophy at the New College School, which was also a Dissenting academy.
He stayed there for seven years. He then became a private tutor for mathematics, natural philosophy and physics.
But the most important thing that happened to Dalton during his years at the New College School, was that he was able to have unlimited access to the laboratory. He started doing some research projects and he found himself studying meteorology.
He soon started to keep diaries, especially since he recorded everything. He wrote his first book, which was called Meteorological Findings and he stated everything he had found on atmospheric pressure, an interesting John Dalton fact.
4. John Dalton’s Daltonism theory
Dalton researched everything he could about colour blindness. He was familiar with this concept because he was colour blinded.
In addition, his brother also had this condition, so that gave him the hypothesis that colour blindness could be passed down onto the next generation, thus, in other words, this meant it was a hereditary condition.
He then proved this hypothesis to be true. The results from a genetic analysis showed that he and his brother were missing the photoreceptors that help people to perceive the colour green.
5. Dalton’s law had a huge impact on science
Dalton started studying how the atmospheric pressure could affect gases in the air.
So, in order to discover how this phenomenon developed, he first studied how the air was made and what were the components and the chemical makeup.
An interesting fact about John Dalton is that he soon discovered that air was made up by small individual particles that put pressure against each other, thus, they create air. He also found out that when some gases are mixed they release a pressure that is combined, and this total pressure is also the same amount of pressure that is released by each individual gas particle.
6. John Dalton’s atomic theory has been thoroughly studied
One of the most influential works in chemistry was made by Dalton. This scientist wrote about his atomic theory which states that things like atoms repel one another when they are found in gases.
However, atoms also seem to react differently whenever they are going toward each other.
What’s interesting about this theory is that it was later proven to be wrong. But this gave John Dalton the opportunity to study by himself and to understand that most atoms are alike.
7. John Dalton served as the President of the Manchester Library and Philosophical society
And this was a job he took very seriously as this organization granted him access to a laboratory. He was forever grateful for this job.
He also accepted an honorary Doctorate of Science degree from the renowned Oxford University.
Another interesting fact about John Dalton was that he had to wear red when he was given the Doctorate Degree, and, ironically, he couldn’t even see this colour as he was colour blinded.
It is true that John Dalton lived a calm and humble life away from problems and complicated things. He dedicated himself to his studies and his research and he never married either.
He taught at several universities throughout the United Kingdom and he enjoyed his time in the academic field.
However, in 1837 John had a stroke and all of a sudden he wasn’t able to communicate well enough. He had a second stroke, and eventually, Dalton died in July, 1844 in Manchester, England.
He has been one of the most amazing scientists in the United Kingdom and the majority of the conclusions that made up his work are still relevant in today’s world.
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