John Dalton was now convinced he had enough proof to back up an atomic theory.
By 1803 he was lecturing on his theory, and by 1808 he had published his findings.
His atomic theory states the following:
- All matter is made up of small, indivisible particles called atoms.
- Atoms of different elements have different properties, but all atoms of the same element are identical.
- The entire atom takes part in chemical reactions.
- Atoms are not changed when they become part of chemical compounds.
- Atoms cannot be created or destroyed.
Lavoisier had called for chemistry to become a quantitative science, one where careful measurements supported theories.
Dalton took a huge step in that direction with his atomic theory. He was immediately lauded by fellow scientists.
He was awarded the medal of the Royal Society of England and elected to the French Academy of Sciences.
He had unlocked the first secrets of the atom. He could never have imagined the incredible energy that was found in this tiny particle 140 years later with the development of atomic power.
Dalton was the first scientist to describe color blindness, a disorder from which he suffered.
For many years after his study, the disorder was called Daltonism.