John Dalton and Robert Boyle Essay

460 WordsMar 19, 20092 Pages
John Dalton: John Dalton was born in 1766 in Cumberland, England into a Quaker family. He enjoyed educated and refined women but he never married. He started his career mainly as a meteorologist and wrote books about meteorology until he realized how much chemistry related to his ideas about the atmosphere. Probably his most important contribution to chemistry is the “Atomic Theory” which he came up with in 1803. This theory states that “all matter is made up of atoms and that the atoms of a specific element have distinct characteristics and weight.” This theory was later published in New System of Chemical Philosophy. After proposing the atomic theory he began to calculate atomic weights of compounds. He died in 1844 due to a stroke and there were 40,000 people at his funeral procession. Robert Boyle: Robert Boyle was born in 1627 in Lismore, Ireland into a protestant family. He believed that God had to of created the universe according to scientific laws. He went to college at Oxford University and he never married. He worked in other fields besides chemistry but chemistry was his favorite subject to study. He is considered to be the father of chemistry because he showed everyone else that chemistry was worth studying which in and of itself was a very important achievement. He is also the first person to give a modern definition of an element although he did not believe in the reality of atoms. Probably his most important contribution to chemistry was “Boyle’s Law” which states that “the volume of a gas varies inversely with pressure.” He died in 1691 of unknown causes. In discussing which of the two chemists had the greatest contribution to chemistry I’d like to first say that they both had such important discoveries that it is hard to decide. John Dalton’s theory of atoms is still accepted today and describes the very smallest thing known

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