John Dalton, born in the 18th century is known as the father of Atomic Theory and is mainly known for his work on the atomic theory and Dalton’s Law for partial gases (Fishman, 2008). By education he was a chemist and later shifted his focus on researching and meteorology. Even though, today advanced research has shown that Dalton’s theory was not absolutely correct, yet we cannot forget his pioneering work that encouraged others to think on the same lines and made progression in the field. After the proposed theory and up to this day any work in the fields of physics or chemistry is very much rooted in the theory.
Dalton, was very much fascinated with the properties of gases. It was while doing research on meteorology that we concluded that when water evaporated it existed as an independent gas. He explained that unless both water and air were composed of the same discrete particles it was not possible for both to exist in the air together. This encouraged him to perform a series of experiments with gases, following which he proposed his atomic theory. While introducing his concept he published in the book A New System of Chemical Philosophy that “We might as well attempt to introduce a new planet into the solar system, or to annihilate one already in existence (Dalton, 1808).
In short Dalton proposed four main concepts. Firstly, all matter is made up of minute and indestructible atoms. Secondly, all atoms in similar elements have identical chemical and physical properties. Next he also said that compounds are made up of atoms combining in a fixed ratio and lastly, he proposed that chemical reactions merely include the rearrangement of the constituent particles (Thompson, 1807).