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Daltons Atomic Theory

Daltons Atomic Theory

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Published by: RUZCHEMISTRY on Feb 06, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Five main points of Dalton's atomic theory
1.The atoms of a given element are different from those of any other element; the atoms of different elementscan be distinguished from one another by their respective relative atomic weights.2.All atoms of a givenelementare identical.3.Atoms of one element can combine with atoms of other elements to formchemical compounds; a givencompound always has the same relative numbers of types of atoms.4.Atoms cannot be created, divided into smaller particles, nor destroyed in the chemical process; achemicalreactionsimply changes the way atoms are grouped together.5.Elements are made of tiny particles calledatoms.Dalton proposed an additional "rule of greatest simplicity" that created controversy, since it could not beindependently confirmed.When atoms combine in only one ratio, "..it must be presumed to be a binary one, unless some cause appear tothe contrary".This was merely an assumption, derived from faith in the simplicity of nature. No evidence was then availableto scientists to deduce how many atoms of each element combine to form compound molecules. But this or some other such rule was absolutely necessary to any incipient theory, since one needed an assumed molecular formula in order to calculate relative atomic weights. In any case, Dalton's "rule of greatest simplicity" causedhim to assume that the formula for water was OH and ammonia was NH, quite different from our modernunderstanding.

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