John Dalton’s Contribution to Atomic Theory

In this essay, I'm going to briefly explain John Dalton’s background, meaning what schools he attended, what he did for a living, and his family. I will then briefly talk about his experiments that lead to his contribution to the atomic theory. Lastly, I will explain his atomic theory and what he gathered about the atom. Before being best known for his contributions to the atomic theory, Dalton went to John Fletcher’s grammar school which was located in Eaglesfield.

During the age of twelve, Dalton’s older brother, Jonathan Dalton. When John Dalton became older, Jonathan asked Dalton to help with teaching at the school. About two years later, John Dalton and his brother purchased a school to call their own and were able to teach sixty students. Elihu Robinson and John Gough, who were his mentors, greatly influenced him when it came to teaching. Elihu Robinson was a quaker gentleman and John Gough was a mathematical scholar in Kendal.

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By being influenced by these men, John Dalton was able to acquire skills with mathematics, speaking Greek, and speaking Latin. Experiments with gases were not possible until the nineteenth century.

Around that time John dalton Experimented with different gases and made assumptions about the atom and its structure. One of his assumptions was that matter has atoms that can not be destroyed or divided. Another assumption was that every atom in an element was the same and that they did not have any differences. Lastly, that an atom of an element can not be man-made, and if the atoms were to decompose, when it regenerates, it will not change, and that it would remain the same.

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John Dalton only contributed the rule noticed that all matter is a compromise of very small things. He later decided to refer to them as “at0ms”. A very old greek philosopher, by the name of Democritus also said that all matter is a compromise of very small objects that can not be divided. So the concept was not at all new. Some concepts of the atom between Democritus and John Dalton were similar. The only contribution to the atomic theory made by John dalton was the structure and the rules of the atom. These rules stated that all matter is made up of tiny things that could not in any way be destroyed or man-made. These rules also stated that every atom of a matter is equal, this includes the size and weight of it.

Updated: Dec 23, 2021
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John Dalton’s Contribution to Atomic Theory. (2021, Dec 23). Retrieved from

John Dalton’s Contribution to Atomic Theory essay
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