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FOUNDATIONS
OF THE

ATOMIC THEORY
COMPRISING

PAPERS AND EXTRACTS
BY

JOHN DALTON WILLIAM HYDE'WOLLASTON,
AND

M.D.

THOMAS THOMSON,
(1802-1808)

M.D.

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JEDinburgb

THE ALEMBIC CLUB
Cbicago
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THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS
1911

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the paper by Dalton first in which there is described probably the with which he example of " this regularity became acquainted. later publications. . is pretty generally held the endeavour to explain by chemists that it numerous examples which were known to him. embracing earliest publications by their respective authors bearing upon the foundation of the Atomic Theory. of Multiple Proportions. that Dalton was led to entertain the ideas which he held regarding the constitution of compound There has therefore been included. did Philosophy. of that general regularity which is now commonly called the Law of Multiple Proportions. is account of his views in that given The earliest printed by Dr Thomas Thomson "System of is Volume 3 of the Third Edition of his Chemistry. This account repro- duced in the following pages. little book contains THIS and The view was in reprints of original memoirs the extracts from text-books. D." published in 1807. A paper by Wollaston on Super-acid and Sub-acid illustrative of the Salts. giving various examples is Law L. although these views had been embodied delivered in courses of which Dalton had some years previously.PREFACE. along with bodies. also included. The first part of Dalton's New System of Chemical of his views." containing his own account lectures not appear until 1808.

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to point out the manner in which mixed elastic fluids exist and to insist upon what I think a very important and fundamental position in the doctrine of such fluids together. : namely. CONSTITUTING THE ATMOSPHERE. Volume I. as stated in the said paper my principal object in that essay was. particle that is repulsive power of each confined to those of its own kind . the constitution of mixed gases. is the same in a separate as in a mixed temperature. retained in a given vessel." I adopted such proportions of the simple elastic fluids to constitute the atmosphere as were then current. 12. ledged by chemists and philosophers in general and its application will elucidate a variety of facts. IN " On a former paper which I submitted to this Society. and con- the elastic or sequently the force of such fluid. . 1805. which are otherwise involved in obscurity. all. BY JOHN DALTON * Read Nov. pp. * From the Memoirs of the Literary and Philosophical Society In of Manchester. have no doubt will soon be perceived and acknowstate.EXPERIMENTAL ENQUIRY INTO THE PROPORTION OF THE SEVERAL GASES OR ELASTIC FLUIDS. 1802. Second Series. not intending to warrant the accuracy of them . or gravitating. this paper there is announced the first example of the law of multiple proportions. and I depending upon its proper density and This principle accords with all experience.. 244-258. .

: who It is obvious. by finding how much the given volume is diminished under a constant pressure. these my consider the atmosphere as a chemical three objects are but one : others. still . the different atmospheres Whence the first not gravitating one upon another. The objects of the present essay are. who hypothesis. To other. will see they are essentially distinct. To determine the relative weights of the different gases in a given volume of atmospheric air. what part of the weight of the whole compound atmosphere is due to azote. investigate the proportions of the gases to each such as they ought to be found at different elevaearth's surface. 1. the whole was diminished \ in thing. Thus. To determine the weight of each simple atmosphere. 3. tions above the those To adopt compound. In order to ascertain the pure state. the relative weights of a given volume of each in a mercury. if it should appear that by extracting the oxygenous gas from any mass of atmospheric air. bulk.6 Dalton. &c. what to oxygen. such as it is at the earth's surface. &c. it will be further necessary to obtain the specific gravity of each gas . that is. 2. in other words. on my to the first hypothesis. that. subject to the same pressure and . the density and elastic force of each gas at the earth's surface. by the abstraction of each of its ingredients singly. &c. which amounts to the same . are the effects of the weight of the With respect atmosphere of that gas solely. object will be obtained by ascertaining what share of elastic force is due to each gas in a given volume of the compound atmosphere or. or. abstractedly . being subject to a pressure of 30 inches of mercury then it ought to be inferred that the oxygenous atmosphere presses the earth with a force of 6 inches of second point.

that those gases which are specifically the heaviest must If the decrease in density the quickest in ascending. It is probable that hydro- constantly present . strongly impregnated with nitrous gas. portion of atmospheric air. of might easily be demonstrated that no sensible portion it could have arisen to the summits of the highest mountains. and in such quantities as are capable of being appreciated. are azotic.Proportion of Gases in the Atmosphere. must be in the compound and specific gravity. oxygenous. i. it may be observed. with or without agitation. On the other hand. elastic fluid of the same weight it but ten times the specific gravity. . 7 For. ratio of its force With respect earth's atmosphere had been a homogeneous it is. 4. 1. 3. The mixture of nitrous gas and air over water. Of the Weight of the Oxygenous and Azotic Atmospheres. Exploding hydrogen gas and air by electricity. of the same weight. to the third object. 2. the weight of each gas in any given temperature. would support a column of mercury nearly 29 inches on the summit of Mount Blanc. it must therefore be confounded in the genous gas also is large mass of azotic gas. Exposing the air to a solution of green sulphat or muriat of iron in water. but in so small proportion as not to be detected by any test we are acquainted with . an atmosphere of hydro- genous gas. The several gases constantly found in every portion of atmospheric air. Various processes have been used to determine the quantity of oxygenous gas. and carbonic acid. Exposing the air to liquid sulphuret of potash or lime. aqueous vapour.

8 5. and as it appears from my experience to be not only the most elegant and expeditious of all the methods hitherto used. This fact. this occasion. and on others 30. how a disproportion of these two elements should ever subsist in the atmosphere. Indeed it is difficult to see. As the first of the processes above-mentioned has been much discredited by late authors. these cases the oxygen enters into combination and loses its elasticity . and if the several processes be conducted skilfully. I shall. but also as when properly conducted. 2. by abstractits oxygen. does not con: easily It any sensible portion of azotic gas . The tain last product of gas this way obtained. In all parts of the earth and at every season of the year. 1. the bulk of any given quantity of atmospheric air ing appears to be reduced nearly 2 1 per cent. and more of oxygen are said to have been found. on some occasions 20 per cent. This I have no doubt was owing to operation their not of and the understanding the nature of the circumstances influencing it. animadvert upon it. little or no artificial heat should be applied. on any hypothesis. of that gas is probably nearly free from nitrous oxide also. at least it may be got with less than 2 or 3 per cent. on or mercury . If TOO measures of common air be put to 36 of pure nitrous gas in a tube 3-ioth of an inch wide and 5 inches long. Dalton. when thus obtained. after a few minutes the whole will be reduced . Burning phosphorus all in the air. Nitrous gas may be obtained pure by nitric acid diluted with an equal bulk of water poured upon copper correct as any of them. the results are precisely the same In from all. some chemists having found. indeed. as they apprehended. a great difference in the quantity of oxygen admitted in the air at different times and places. has not been generally till lately .

less than 72 measures of nitrous gas be used. purity . or with twice that portion. If. and oxygenous or nitrous gas. and another to tivo. If 100 measures of common air be admitted to 72 of nitrous gas in a wide vessel over water. from 36 to 72 per cent. all the the results of chemists on this subject. 4. and the may be formed same made more exposed to water. This is the principal cause of that diversity which has so much appeared in In fact. exhibit 9 either no signs of 3. but with These no intermediate is quantity. experiments to be most easily In order to this a narrow just wide enough to let air is pass water without requiring the tube to be agitated. in the last experiment. the greater acid and the less of nitric that is is the quantity of nitrous formed. . gradation in quantity of nitrous gas from 36 to 72 may actually be observed with atmospheric air of the same time. if more. and an immediate momentary be used. the purpose of eudiometry therefore.Proportion of Gases in the Atmosphere. the wider the tube or vessel the mixture is in. To use nitrous gas for former appears from my and most accurately effected. we must attempt to form nitric acid or nitrous Of these the wholly. for common air. tube is necessary one that is . there will be a residuum containing agitation oxygenous gas will be found. and without a mixture of the other. there will. at the In the former case nitric acid : the result . to 79 or 80 measures. such as to form a thin stratum of air. then some residuary nitrous gas the facts clearly point out the theory of the process: elements of oxygen may combine with a certain portion of nitrous gas. as before. be found 79 or 80 measures of pure azotic gas for a residuum. . the quantity of nitrous gas absorbed should be variable. the quicker the combination is effected. in the latter nitrous acid but as both these one part of the oxygen going to one of nitrous gas.

for the gas (atmospheric if the liquid exceed this. therefore. 100 common air with 60 hydrogen. that . according to Davy 192 but from the most attentive observations of my own. Let little more nitrous gas than is sufficient to be admitted to the oxygenous gas let no agitation be used . 185 are In atmospheric air I always find 60 per cent. diminution when fired with an excess of hydrogen . there is a portion of azotic gas imbibed somewhat uncertain in quantity. oxygen air) : Sulphuret of lime is a good test of the proportion of in a given mixture. Then T ^ of the The transferring is necessary loss will be due to oxygen. 2. vol. have shown .io best. in and in the sequel of the essay. a former essay. TOO oxygen require 196 measures of hydrogen. sufficient. Of the Weight of the Aqueous Vapour Atmosphere. when they are both at their utmost for experiment any given temperature. become 100 after . 2. 7 any further diminution of consequence. and as soon as the diminution appears to be over for a moment let the residuary gas be transferred to another tube. determined by I have.) given a table of the force of vapour in vacuo for every degree of temperature. to prevent the nitric acid formed and combined with the form nitrous water. Volta's eudiometer is very accurate as well as elegant and expeditious: according to Monge. we have nothing . and no oxygen is found in the residuum here 21 oxygen take 39 hydrogen. 5. To find the force of aqueous vapour in the atmosphere. (Manchester Mem. and it will remain without form nitric acid . p. the explosion. that the force of vapour in the atmosphere is the very same as in vacuo. Dalton. is. from absorbing the remainder of the nitrous gas to acid. provided the liquid be not more than 20 or 30 per cent. page 559.

observations of Humboldt. will be found the force of vapour. -^j. and made different seasons of the year. This it will be perceived is calculated . vol. it may be found as directed above. like the one above. by Clement and Desorme. to be the weight of vapour in the whole atmosphere of If that incumbent over any place at any time be required. a mean of them would probably be 57 or Now if we may suppose the force of vapour 58. for any given time.443 of mercury or. that dry air of 64 will admit so much vapour as to This I have repeated nearly increase its elasticity. that vapour contracts no chemical union with any of the gases in the atmosphere . temperatures of all parts of the earth's surface. I was led to part of the weight of the atmosphere to expect about T be carbonic acid gas but I soon found that the propor- From some ^ : tion was immensely overrated.Proportion of Gases in the Atmosphere. that if all a glass vessel filled with 102. and found a similar result. But the table in the he has given us of aqueous vapour at other temperatures is very far wrong. 11 inore to do than to find that degree of cold at which it begins to be condensed. from the table. equivalent to that of 55. in his manner. De Saussure found by an excellent experiment. xlii. especially at temperatures distant from 64. I have found. at a medium. From the various facts mentioned in the essay it is obvious. and opposite to it in the table above mentioned.400 grains of rain water . this fact has since been enforced Annales de Chimie. The numbers were not the result of direct experiIf we could obtain the ment. nearly -^ of the whole atmosphere. at nearly agreeing in their results. it will. Of the Weight of the Carbonic Add Atmosphere. From repeated experi- ments. the earth. 3. be equal to . M.

- i. of carbonic Having now determined the force with which each atmosphere presses on the earth's surface. but the weight of carbonic : acid gas in a given portion of air at the earth's surface. or yjV^j. and the mouth then closed .of the whole. therefore. require 15. it remains next to enquire into their specific gravities. - 1-500 . its weight . the whole of the lime water is just saturated by the acid gas it finds in that volume of But 125 grains of the lime water used require 70 grain measures of carbonic acid gas to saturate it .ooo . contained little more than i per cent. Hydrogen ought air. Kirwan and Lavoisier . in had breathed acid gas. with the windows and doors shut. because the specific gravity of I have since found the gas is \\ that of common air. * The specific gravity of hydrogen must be rated too low if 100 oxygen require 185 hydrogen by measure.077* are my authorities for these numbers.400 grain measures of common air contain air. that the air in an assembly. 70 of carbonic acid . and 125 grains of strong lime water be poured in. be emptied in the open air. - air.700 Aqueous vapour. or in other words. according to this 89 oxygen would require only 1 1 hydrogen to form water whereas 85 : .1 2 Dalton.966 Oxygenous - gas.127 Carbonic acid gas. in the following Table. is nearly J^JT f th e whole . Hydrogenous gas. the 102. for which two hundred people two hours. These may be seen Atmospheric Azotic gas. The weight of the carbonic acid atmosphere then is to that of the whole compound as i 1460 . to be found about TV part of the weight of common . 1. by sufficient time and agitation. except oxygenous gas and aqueous vapour.

6 1 and . it has this further claim for credit. which would extract the carbonic From acid as well as the aqueous vapour from the air.36 6. but he used caustic alkali as the absorbent. therefore.75 . specific gravity to be . setting aside the unfounded notion of their forming a chemical com- pound. 13 I am indebted to is Mr Davy's Chemical : prefer it.02 30. that 21 parts of gas of this specific gravity. by abstracting aqueous vapour of a known force from a given quantity and admitting of air. We to the have now sufficient data to form tables answering two first objects of our enquiry. attention to accuracy with the others.67 respectively.7 is very nearly accurate. as they evidently ought to do. For the former Researches I .18 - - - . that is. manner of De Saussure . The specific gravity of aqueous vapour I have determined myself both by analytic and synthetic methods. the experiments of Pictet and Watt. Azotic gas - - - Oxygenous gas Aqueous vapour Carbonic acid gas 23. being determined with at least equal his number pound of exactly the same specific gravity as the atmosphere.00 .71 or . Table of the Weights of the different Gases constituting the Atmosphere. Upon the whole.Proportion of Gases in the Atmosphere. make a com- something greater than theirs because.44 . I. and weighing the water obtained a given weight of water to dry air and comparing the loss after the De Saussure makes the with the increased elasticity. it is probable that . Inch of Mercury. I deduce the specific gravity of aqueous vapour to be . mixed with 79 parts of azotic gas.

and the aqueous vapour an increasing one.10 III. Dalton. M. Azotic gas 75. as to the fact of oxygenous gas observing a diminishing ratio in ascending. I have little doubt. The specific gravity of oxygenous and azotic gases being as 7 to 6 nearly. azotic atmosphere as a standard.14 II. the oxygenous and the carbonic acid will observe a decreasing ratio to it in ascending. their diminution in density will be the same at heights reciprocally as their specific gravities. if we take the regulated by their specific gravities.) unable to conceive even the possibility of two gases being held together by affinity. Tom. their densities at different heights must be rarefaction Hence. for. Table of the proportional Weights of the different Gases in a given volume of Atmospheric Air. and the slight affinity of the two gases for each other. page 85. taken at the Surface of the Earth Per Cent. the atmospheres being independent on each other. unless their particles unite so as to form one centre of repulsion out of two or more (in which case they become one gas) I cannot see why- should either decrease or increase this supposed affinity. * The proportion of aqueous vapour must be understood to be variable for any one place : the others are permanent or nearly so. As I arn (See Annal. de Chimie. however. 34.32 - 1-03* . because of the greater specific gravity of oxygenous gas. Berthollet seems to think that the lower strata of the atmosphere ought to contain more oxygen than the upper. On the Proportion of Gases at different Elevations. .55 - Oxygenous gas Aqueous vapour Carbonic acid gas - 23.

. 2.3 i3 . - .. BY JOHN DALTON.f Read i. TF J. very nearly the whole of any gas if it the water 2. TT A> T!T> & c these being the cubes of the reciprocals of the natural numbers i.3 &c. or otherwise a part of equal to some one of the following fractions. . that at the height of Mount Blanc (nearly three English miles) the ratio of oxygenous gas to azotic in a given volume of air. Lussac determines the constitution of air brought from an elevation of four miles to be the same as that at the earth's surface. Volume I. will be extricated from it. would be nearly as 20 to 80 . t From the Memoirs of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester. Second Series. the air exhausted from the receiver containing the water. 1805. 271-287. 3. bulk of the gas. Gayperceptible differences from the air taken in Manchester. a quantity of pure water be boiled rapidly for a short time in a vessel with a narrow aperture.* ON THE ABSORPTION OF GASES BY WATER AND OTHER LIQUIDS. The table appended to this paper is Dalton's first table of atomic weights. and then be briskly agitated for some time.60) in July 1804. pp. or be subjected to the air-pump. the * same gas always being absorbed in the same propor(noo Air brought from the summit of Helvelyn. . consequently it follows that at any ordinary heights the difference in the proportions will be scarcely if at all perceptible. namely. 21. &c.Absorption of Gases by Water. If a quantity of water thus freed from air be agitated it it in any kind of absorb its will gas. or -1. in Cumberland yards above the sea Barometer being 26. . &c. 1803. not chemically uniting with water. Oct. may contain. 15 Hence it would be found. 1. gave no M.

is recovert About -fa of nitrous gas is usually absorbed . : the following table It must be understood that the quantity of gas is to be measured at the pressure and temperature with which the impregnation is effected. as exhibited in Dalton. 3. when in water. The gas thus absorbed may be recovered from the * According to Mr William Henry's experiments. Perhaps it may be found that nitrous gas usually ^ able : contains a small portion of nitrous oxide. and This difference is owing to the residuum of oxygen in the water. . : its impurity.i6 tion. each measure of which takes 3^ of nitrous gas to saturate it. water does not imbibe quite its bulk of nitrous oxide in one or two instances with me it has come very near it The apparent deviation of this gas. may be owing to the difficulty of ascertaining the exact degree of .

&c. per 5. if the stopper be secured. Ex. be agitated with any gas.Absorption of Gases by Water. till the due share has entered the then. Atmospheric air. /T of T759ff azotic gas =1.778 Sum. and 21 parts oxygenous consisting of 79 parts azotic gas.234 sV of T"T oxygen gas= . but upon examination the residuary gas will be found a mixture of the two. and the proportions agreeable to article 4. it 17 the water the same in quantity and quality as means pointed out in the ist article. if it be exposed to heat the stopper be air-tight. but upon examination the residuary gas will be found a mixture of the two. . entered. per cent. the phial may be . will be exactly proportional to those out of the water. . gr. the quantity of gas in the ing the equilibrium water : water will remain the same whether or cold. 2. or mixture of gases. 6. exposed to any variation of temperature. If water impregnated with any one gas be agitated with another gas less or more absorbable. of water in a phial having a ground 7. If a quantity of water free from air be agitated with a mixture of two or more gases (such as atmospheric air) the water will absorb portions of each gas the same as if they were presented to density. in the water.012 impregnated with any one gas (as hydrogenous) be agitated with another gas equally absorbable (as azotic) there will apparently be no absorption of the If water latter gas just as much gas being found after agitation as was introduced to the water. without disturbThat is. by 4. there will apparently be an increase or diminution of the latter . it separately in their proper gas. and the parts of each. --Water absorbs . If a quantity stopper very accurately adapted. cent.

than it would have been if the water had been free from gas. in certain lose circumstances. It is remarkable however that water by stagnation. 8.1 8 Da/ton. alcohol. 10. when water as I have lately ascertained. this way . genous part of oxygenous gas requires 3. and : any other gas they may be impregnated with. Pure distilled water. and another nitrous). they quickly acquire that share by agitation in it. notwithstandThis I ing its constant exposition to the atmosphere. by the quantity necessary to saturate the former. the nitric formed. have uniformly found to be the case in my large wooden pneumatic trough. If water be impregnated with one gas (as oxygenous). In fact. containing about 8 foot of water. N. loses part or all of its oxygen. having an affinity for the former (as be agitated along with it . and saline solutions in water. gas. rain and spring water usually contain nearly their due share of atmospheric air if not. The preceding articles contain the principal facts necesThose that sary to establish the theory of absorption follow are of a subordinate nature. and the temperature should be between 32 and 212. The phial ought not to be near full of water. whereas. gallons.4 of nitrous gas to saturate It is agreeable to this that the rapid mixture of oxyand nitrous gas over a broad surface of water. or i^ cubic Whenever it this is replenished with tolerits ably pure rain water. such as acids. . liquid sulphurets.* 9. occasions a greater diminution than otherwise. Most liquids free from viscidity. * it contains share of atmospheric One in water.B. the absorption of the latter gas will be greater. absorb the same quantity of gases as pure water except they have an affinity for the gas. and partly deducible : as corollaries to them. . &c. is the nitrous acid is formed acid is not present. such as the sulphurets for oxygen. which requires just half the quantity of nitrous gas.

I The disappearance of oxygenous gas in water. of oxygen. or any other article to which the effect could be ascribed. if These circumstances. not being duly noticed. If water free from air be agitated with a small lost portion of atmospheric air (as T^ of its bulk) the residuum of such air will have proportionally less oxygen than the original have only take y1-. and Mr : If we 7 1 . air in the results of differ- in air upon the quantity and water. It was grown offensive. had not been contaminated with any material portion of metallic or sulphureous mixtures. If a tall in preference 12. but not extremely so . then the residuum will per cent. and no oxygenous gas whatever was found in the water. William Henry. as above. quality of atmoit appears that atmospheric expelled from water ought to have 38 per oxygen . have been the source of great diversity ent philosophers spheric cent.* The quantity of it azotic gas at all. that water absorbs oxygen to azot. must be owing to some impurities in the water which combine with the oxygen. whereas by this article air may be expelled from water that shall contain from 38 to o per cent. presume. 11. for the observations made by Dr Priestley. . 19 : but in process of time it becomes deficient of oxygen In three months the whole surface has been covered with a pellicle. It * was drawn from a leaden cistern. oxygen agreeably to the prinThis circumstance accounts ciple established in article 4. it and the water be briskly will gradually disappear. glass vessel containing a small portion of gas be inverted into a deep trough of water and the gas thus confined by the glass. &c.Absorption of Gases by Water. air . By article 4. Pure rain water that had stood more than a year in an earthenware bottle had none of its oxygen. agitated. is not materially diminished by stagnation.

Oxygenous Carbonic acid 9 \ consequently. If old stagnant water be in the trough. when those forces are removed. and that of the carbonic acid the least . azotic gas. the previous impregnation being such as is due to stance. 13.20 It is Dalton. and so escape. Let a quantity of water contain equal portions of any two or more unequally absorbable gases For in: oxygenous gas and carbonic acid gas . atmospheres of the following relative forces nearly Azotic - . oxygenous next. the residuum will be found to contain both azotic and If gas. who seems to have to notice this fact. the last will even be so small as not to overcome the cohesion of the water without violent agitation. but if the water be fully . a wonder that first Dr Priestley. let the water be boiled or subjected to the air-pump. For. the residuary gas examined at any time will be pure atmo- any gas not containing either azotic or oxygenous be agitated over water containing atmospheric air. the agitation divides the air into an infinite been the number of minute bubbles which may be seen pervading the whole water these are successively driven out from under the margin of the glass into the trough. . oxygenous gas. air at the beginning. then. should have made any the loss of gas has evidently a mechanidifficulty of it . and atmospheric air be the subject. impregnated with atmospheric spheric 14. the oxygenous gas will very soon be almost wholly extracted and leave a residuum of azotic gas . of mercury. - 21 inch. the resiliency of the azotic gas will be the greatest. air. in the last experiment. 15. and the carbonic acid will be the least. and it will be found that unequal portions of the gases The azotic will be the greatest part. cal cause . the will be expelled.

the Philosophical By the reciprocal communications since. or those of the 2d. ject before in me. and of aperture so as to be covered with the end of a finger. an account of which has been published Transactions for 1803. an addiagitation was the quantity tional quantity of water entered. but if it took ^. having a very accurately ground stopper . In determining the quantity of gases absorbed. in those with the more absorbable of the first class I used an Eudiometer tube properly graduated. and 4th classes. water could never be made to take its bulk of any gas by procedure . I had the result of Mr William Henry's experience on the subI quantity of air still operation of the air-pump. remained respecting the left in water after ebullition and the The known fact . and the . the quantity being noticed by the quantity of water that entered on withdrawing the solid body. I used a phial holding 2700 grains of water. in the first article has been long however. mentioned doubt. we have been enabled to bring the results of our Experiments to a near agree- ment as the quantities he has given in his appendix to . have placed this in a clearer point of view. removing the finger repeated till for a moment under enter. water. or any other part. that paper nearly accord with those I have stated in the second article. and the no more water would when and this In fact quality of the residuary gas was examined. In my Experiments with the less absorb- able gases. apprehend. 21 Remarks on the Authority of the preceding Facts. This was filled with the gas and a small portion expelled by introducing a solid body under water .Absorption of Gases by Water. In order to give the chain of facts as distinct as possible. I have not hitherto mentioned by whom or in what manner they were ascertained. the finger was applied to the end and the water within agitated then . a The subsequent articles will. 3d. &c.

The results were found entirely to agree . the distance of the particles within being always some multiple of that without Thus. before either he or I had formed any theory on the subject. &c. The facts mentioned in the yth article. and the density not at all affected in those circumstances. and the agitation was longer. as the mechanical effect of the external and internal air are alike increased by heat. and in azotic. decides the effect to be mechanical and the latter seems to point to the principle on which the equilibrium is adjusted. I have tried the experiments in a . four times. The other is that the density of the gas in the water has a special relation to that out of the water. and the notion of the distinct agency of elastic fluids when mixed together. The first is. or the gas within of the same density as without. I think. The former of these. There are two very important facts contained in the second article. were investigated a priori from the mechanical hypothesis. &c. it cannot be affected by temperature in confined air. the dis: tance within and without the water is is the same. are of great importance in a theoretic view . This was discovered by Mr Wm. The principle was the ^ same in using the phial . 5th and 6th articles. only a small quantity of the gas was admitted. The facts noticed in the 4th. that the quantity of gas absorbed is as the density or pressure. with both. for. in olefiant gas the distance of the particles in the water is twice that without . it is This fact was the result of my own enquiry. Henry. &c. in the case of carbonic acid. if the quantity of gas absorbed depend upon mechanical principles.22 Dalton. then it was inferred that water would take its bulk of that gas. the distance is just three times as great within as without . residuary gas was pure. in oxygenous gas. or as nearly as could be expected from experiments of such nature.

but gas. After what has been observed. the intervening water having no other influence in this respect than a mere vacuum. I have tried no perceptible difference has been found . and are wholly disengaged again by by the removal of that pressure. but this deserves further investigation. it seems unnecessary to add any explanation of the loth and following articles. 1. just the same in the water as out of it. Theory of the Absorption of Gases by Water. 23 considerable variety of temperature without perceiving It deserves further any deviation from the principle.Absorption of Gases by Water. as receptacle of gases. 2. it pointed out by this essay. retain their elas- ticity or repulsive power amongst their own particles. If water be. the facts developed in the preceding articles. attention. and not chemically combined with it. When water has absorbed not press on the water at all. From means of All gases that enter into water and other liquids pressure. arise not And if we find the absorption of gases to from a chemical but a mechanical cause. its bulk of carbonic acid 4. a mere cannot affect their affinities hence : what is observed in the 8th article is too obvious to need explanation. &*c. &c. Gases so mixed with water. the following theory of the absorption of gases by water seems deducible. &c. the gas does presses on the containing vessel just as if no water were . &c. are mechanically mixed with the liquid. of its any permanent influence in this respect. will absorb like portions of gas. it may be expected that all liquids having an equal fluidity with In several liquids water.. Each gas is retained in water by the pressure of gas own kind incumbent on its surface abstractedly considered. no other gas with which it may be mixed having 3.

must support the whole pressure of any gas it. as follows force upon 4 particles of water . which force presses upon the containing vessel and not on the water. till 100 particles of water have the force distributed amongst them. forced its way into A particle of gas pressing on the surface of water is analogous to a single shot pressing upon the summit of a As the shot distributes its pressure square pile of them. the stratum of gas on the surface of the water presses with f Y of its force on the water. then each force equally amongst 100 It exerts its immediate particles of water. 5. let any gas press with a given force on the surface of water. When water contains no gas. its proper quantity of bulk.of its force.ter has absorbed r \ of its bulk of any gas. having its incumbent particle of gas. in the manner pointed out in the last article. the its : must divide 9 upon 1 6. its surface admitted to the water. and on the internal gas with ^V of its force. those 4 press upon 9. and consequently has not its equilibrium disturbed by that pressure. till the gas has.24 in. the water below this stratum is uniformly pressed by the gas. in part. Dalton. When water has absorbed gas. that is. When wr. and so on according to the order of square numbers. ^T of its gas presses on the surface of the water with -f -. stance . and with ^V f its force on the uppermost . and in the same stratum each square of 100. so the particle of gas distributes its pressure equally amongst every successive horizontal stratum of particles of water downwards till it reaches the For insphere of influence of another particle of gas. and let the distance of the particles of gas from each other be to those of water as 10 to particle of gas i . With azotic and hydrogenous gas the proportions are f f and -^ respectively. the exterior oxygenous &c. equally amongst all the individuals forming the lowest stratum of the pile. 6.

8. latter. and For in this case the distance of the inner and outer atmo- particle of the former such as to make the perpendicular force of each on those particles of the latter that are immediately subject to its influence. spheres is . and the same may be observed of the small lateral force. ent laws. An equilibrium between the outer and inner atmospheres can be established in no other circumstance than that of the distance of the particles of one atmosphere it is being the same or some multiple of that of the other probable the multiple cannot be more than 4. or 16 times that of the inner. This comparatively great distance of the inner and outer atmosphere particles in the arises from the great repulsive power of the its .* * An inquiry into the relative weights of the Subsequent experience renders this conjecture less probable. This question I I have duly conable to satisfy and though I am not yet myself completely. . on superior density. : 25 stratum of gas in the water The distance of the two strata of gas must be nearly 27 times the distance of the incumbent atmosphere and 9 times the distance of the particles in the water. or its presenting 9 particles of surface to the other i When is absorbed the dis- account of ^ tance of the atmospheres becomes 64 times the distance of two particles in the outer. &c. am cumstance depends upon ticles are lightest nearly persuaded that the cirthe weight and number of the : ultimate particles of the several gases those whose par- the others more single being least absorbable.Absorption of Gases by Water. equal . Why difficulty attending the mechanical from different gases observing differdoes water not admit its bulk of every kind of gas alike? sidered. according as they increase in weight and and and complexity. 7. The greatest arises hypothesis. physically speaking.

Table of the relative weights of the ultimate particles of gaseous and other bodies.4 15. - 6...1 Sulphureous acid 19. upon far as in this paper but I shall just subjoin the results. i - Hydrogen Azot - - - 4.5 7.2 Sulphuretted hydrogen Carbonic acid 15.4 - 6.9 Sulphuric acid Carburetted hydrogen from stag.5 Ammonia Oxygen Water Phosphorus Phosphuretted hydrogen Nitrous gas - .26 Dalton. a subject.. as far as I know.4 15.2 5.3 Alcohol - - 15.2 Carbone 4.8 13. . been prosecuting this enquiry The principle cannot be entered is ultimate particles of bodies entirely new : I have lately with remarkable success.6 - Ether Gaseous oxide of carbone Nitrous oxide - - 9. 7 Sulphur Nitric acid - - 14.2 9.3 5. water 25.2 - - 8. as they appear to be ascertained by my experiments.3 - Olefiantgas - 5-3 .3 9.

they not my signify one and the same power. Manchester 1808. there exist insensible grada* From A New System of Chemical Philosophy. namely. is capable of assuming all the three states. those which are marked by the terms elastic fluids. These observations have tacitly led to the conclusion which seems universally adopted. that all bodies of sensible magnitude.Constitution of Bodies. affinity. or three THERE states. which have more especially claimed the attention of philosophical chemists . or more still simply. has been a very obscure view of chemical agency. perfectly elastic fluid. . In steam we recognise a a perfect liquid. . attraction of aggregation. The opinions I more particularly allude to. such as that chemical agency is proportional to the mass. which but to show that we appears completely satisfactory have hitherto made no use of it. of a body. 27 ON THE CONSTITUTION OF BODIES. liquids. number of extremely small particles. bound together by a force of attrac- which stances. design to call in question this conclusion. in certain circumstances. attraction of cohesion . but as it collects them from a dispersed state (as from steam into water) it is called. Whatever names it may It is go by. 141-143. is more or less powerful according to circumand which as it endeavours to prevent their separation. and that the consequence of the neglect. which.* are three distinctions in the kinds of bodies. are those of Berthollet on the Laws of chemical affinity . BY JOHN DALTON. in water and in ice a complete solid. which is daily growing more so in proportion to the new lights attempted to be thrown upon it. and that in all chemical unions. A very familiar instance is exhibited to us in water. whether liquid or solid. pp. and solids. are constituted of a vast or atoms of matter tion. is very properly called in that view.

figure. and supports dignity by keeping comparatively large all the rest.28 Dalton. If some of the particles of water were heavier than others. we question of some importance. hydrogen and Now it is scarcely possible to conceive how the oxygen. &c. every particle of hydrogen is like every other particle of hydrogen. it must equally exist in the elements constituting water. namely. constituent principles. fail to strike every one takes a proper view of the phenomena. 211-216 and 219-220. cannot. it must be supposed to affect the specific gravity of the Similar observations mass. BY JOHN DALTON. weight. that is. I think. such as water. tions in the proportions of the The who are inconsistence of these opinions. pp. Therefore we may conclude that the ultimate particles of all homogeneous In other bodies are perfectly alike in weight. Manchester From A New System of Chemical Philosophy. ticulars : aggregates of dissimilar particles should be so uniformly the same. every particle of water is like every other particle of water . may be made on other substances. . Whether the ultimate particles of a body. have no reason to apprehend a diversity in these parif it does exist in water. 1808. each particle occupies the WHEN * any body in the elastic state. both with reason and observation. &c. &c. is a From what is known. of the same figure. ON CHEMICAL SYNTHESIS. all alike. its centre its of a sphere. if a parcel of the liquid on any occasion were constituted principally of these heavier particles.* exists ultimate particles are separated from each other to a much greater distance than in any other state . a circumstance not known. words.

both oj simple and compound bodies. whereas from the relative weights in the mass. No new creation or destruction of matter is within the reach of chemical agency.Chemical Synthesis. When we attempt to conceive the number of particles in an atmosphere. chemical investigations. from which their number and weight in various other compounds would appear. it has justly been considered an important object to ascertain the relative In weights of the simples But unfortunately the which constitute a compound. the of stars and planets cannot be infinite. to show the importance and advantage of ascertaining the relative weights of the ultimate particles. and the number of less compoiind particles which enter into the formation of one more compound particle. and to Now it is one great object of this correct their results. work. might as well attempt to introduce a new planet into the solar system. But if we limit the subject. and joining those all that were previously at a distance. let the divisions be ever so minute. the number of simple element- ary particles which constitute one compound particle. the thought. by taking a given volume of any gas. . in order to assist and to guide future investigations. Chemical analysis and synthesis go no farther than to the finite separation of particles one from another. it is somewhat like number of stars in the universe attempting to conceive the we are confounded with . just as in a given space of the universe. the relative weights of the ultimate particles or atoms of the bodies might have been inferred. 29 which by their gravity. at a respectful distance. enquiry has terminated here . consist in of hydrogen. the number of particles must be number . or to annihil- We one already in existence. or otherwise are disposed to encroach upon it. as to create or destroy a particle All the changes we can produce. we seem persuaded that. separating particles that are in a state of cohesion or combinate ation. and to their reunion.

and the relative weights of the two elementary atoms are as i 7. When only one combination of two bodies can be following general rules obtained. That ammonia is a binary compound of hydrogen and azote. The above rules and observations equally apply. the following is and B. &c. &c. binary. are combined. which are disposed the order in which the combeginning with the binations may place. D and E. we may expect one to be a binary. When three combinations are obtained. and the relative weights of the two atoms are as 1:5. nearly . nearly 3d. such as C and D. From hydrogen and oxygen. when two bodies. 5th. &c. The in all may be adopted as guides our investigations respecting chemical synthesis. When four combinations are observed. ternary. A binary compound should always be specifically heavier. zd. A ternary compound should be specifically heavier than the mixture of a binary and a simple. to the chemical we deduce the following conclusions. which would. That nitrous gas is a binary compound of azote and : . the application of these rules. &c. 6th. unless some cause appear to the contrary. atom of 1 atom of 2 atoms of A I atom of 3 atoms of A + A + I atom of B A A + + + 2 atoms of B atom of B 3 atoms of B I i atom = = = = of B = atom of C. two bodies. we should expect one binary. constitute it . atom of G.than the mere mixture of its two ingredients. ist. most simple I : namely. yth. 3d. it must be presumed to be a binary one. and one quaternary. atom of E. That water is a binary compound of facts already well ascertained. quaternary. &c. . 4th. two ternary. quaternary. take A combine. and the other two ternary. they must be presumed to be a binary and a ternary. zd. When two combinations are observed. atom of F.3O If there are to Da/ton. ternary. atom of D. if combined. ist.

the metals. In the sequel. together weigh1 2 that carbonic acid is a ternary compound . the metallic oxides and sulphurets. it is to be supposed that the . and one of oxygen. together weighing 9 that nitrous oxide is a compound similar to nitric acid. the earths. the alkalis. it is deemed expedient to give plates. when three or more particles of elastic fluids are combined together in one. and consists of one atom of oxygen and two of azote. &c. and stitution in short. 4th. the atoms of which weigh 5 and 7 respectively . each of which is denoted by unity. all the chemical compounds which have hitherto Several of the con- obtained a tolerably good analysis. the facts and experiments from which these conclusions are derived. acid and oxygen. weighing 31 nitric compound of one atom of charcoal. . with some distinctive mark . consisting of nitrous gas. that oxynitric acid is a binary . weighing 17 that nitrous acid is a binary compound of nitric acid and . weighing 19. clusions will be supported by original experiments. and the com- binations consist in the juxta-position of two or more of these . A specimen of these accompanies or atoms of such bodies as this first part. 31 that nitric acid oxygen. is a binary or ternary compound accord1 ing as it is derived. That carbonic oxide is a binary compound. will be detailed . and consists of one atom of azote and two of oxygen. weighing 26 . From the novelty as well as importance of the ideas suggested in this chapter. exhibiting the mode of combination in some of the more simple cases. &c. are denoted by a small circle. The elements are conceived at present to be simple. as well as a great variety of others from which are inferred the con- and weight of the ultimate particles of the principal acids. ing nearly these cases the weights are expressed in atoms of hydrogen.Chemical Synthesis. and two of oxygen. (but sometimes binary) consisting of one atom of charIn all coal. the long train of neutral salts.

o 17 4 5 6 o H U 1* 18 7 \S 16 19 30- 91 S3 CX) CXD (DO 7c?7fc2>?- O O* (DOCD OCDO OO OO M S3. the same kind repel each other.32 particles of Dalton. and therefore take their stations accordingly. . ELEMENTS 3 .

.. nitric acid + I ammonia + i water I I - 16 31 - 26 37. An atom of nitrous oxide. 2 carbone + 2 water An atom of nitrate of ammonia. An atom An atom of ammonia.. 36.. 32. 2 azote + i oxygen 1 7 23. I azote + 3 oxygen atom of sulphuric acid. composed of i of carbone and I of 24.. C . 3 carbone + hydrogen An atom of nitrous acid. I azote + 2 oxygen atom of carbonic acid. I carbone + 2 oxygen atom of carburetted hydrogen.Chemical Synthesis. i carbone + 2 hydrogen atom of oxynitric acid. - composed of i of azote and i of hydrogen of nitrous gas. 6 hydrogen 25. An atom of carbonic oxide composed of i of carbone and I of oxygen -12 26. I sulphur + 3 hy- 19 19 7 26 34 16 drogen 33. 33 This plate contains the arbitrary marks or signs chosen to represent the several chemical elements or ultimate particles. 27. 6 29. I - 34. 30. - - 56 95 100 100 140 167 - 21... An atom of sugar. nitric acid + nitrous gas An atom of acetous acid. An atom of alcohol.12 oxygen An atom of olefiant gas. . ---------33 I i alcohol to + i carbonic acid - - 35 show the method . An atom i of water or steam. Enough has been given nor is it necessary to insist upon the accuracy of all these compounds. 35. it will be quite unnecessary to devise characters and combinations of them to exhibit to view in this way all the subjects that come under investigation . 31. retained in physical contact by a strong and supposed to be surrounded by a atmosphere of heat . An An An An An An atom of nitric acid. composed of I of oxygen and of hydrogen. its relative weight = affinity. composed of i of azote and I of . common - - 8 22. I sulphur + 3 oxygen atom of sulphuretted hydrogen. 28.

96-102. 98 (for 1808). and one of oxygen. 26 parts in 100. potash. vol.34 both in number and weight Wollaston. metal.3 metal and 16. such as they are found in combination with acids. As I in various I thought * From the Philosophical Transactions. is just double of that which is saturated by the same quantity of base in their neutral compounds. and the smallest 13 and 19. on page 41. are necessarily such by the theory . but according to Mr Davy's very important discoveries. remarkable. the principle will be entered into more . 7 > and the latter. Sec. 21. pp. 35. + [See the extracts from Dr Thomson's paper on Oxalic Acid.! had observed the same law to prevail other instances of super-acid and sub-acid salts. and one of oxygen. Soda and potash. 83. in the Philosophical Transactions (a copy of which particularly the largest essay he has just favoured me with) it appears that quantity of oxygen indicated by these experiments was for potash 17.D. M." " ON SUPER-ACID AND SUB-ACID SALTS. that oxalic acid unites to strontian as well as to potash in tions. It is metal and 25 oxygen .. 28. they are metallic oxides . and that the quantity of acid two different propor- combined with each of these bases in their super oxalates. BY WILLIAM HYDE WOLLASTON. remarked. of an atom of Or. soda contains 75 per cent.] . It is particularly hereafter. IN Dr Thomson has the paper which has just been read to the Society. not to be understood that all those articles marked as simple substances. 7.7 oxygen. the former then must be considered as composed of an atom of metal. and for soda. that according to the above-mentioned gentleman's essay on the Decomposition and Composition of the fixed alkalies. R. are 28 and 42 respectively in weight .* Read Jan. 1808. as far as respects the individual results.S. they are only necessarily of such weights.

Sub-carbonate of potash recently prepared. i. and each of which affords the most direct proof of the proportional redundance or deficiency of acid in the several salts employed. that in all cases the simple elements of bodies are disposed to unite in excess. vol. Exp. 35 compounds. if either is exceeds by a ratio to be expressed by some simple multiple of the number of its atoms. But since the publication of Mr Dalton's theory of chemical combination. since those who are desirous of ascertaining the justness of this observation by experiment. . may be deterred by the difficulties that we meet with in attempting to determine with precision the constitution of gaseous bodies. Thomson's Chemistry.Super-add and Sub-acid it Salts.. each of which may be performed with the utmost facility. is one instance of an alkali having one-half the quantity of acid necessary for torily its saturation.* the be superfluous. p. iii. 425. and since some persons may imagine that the results of former experiments on such bodies do not accord sufficiently to authorize the adoption of a new hypothesis. as explained and illustrated by Dr Thomson. as inquiry which I had designed appears to all the facts that I had observed are but particular instances of the more general observation of Mr Dalton. Sub-carbonate of Potash. or. fully saturated Let two grains of * carbonate of potash be wrapped in a piece of thin paper. it atom to atom singly. it may be worth while to describe a few ex- periments. as may and thus be satisfacwell crystallized proved. for the explanation of which Mr Dalton's theory was first conceived. and not unlikely that this law might obtain generally in such it was my design to have pursued the subject with the hope of discovering the cause to which so regular a relation might be ascribed. 3d edition. However.

but it is generally found very slightly acid. and let the gas be extricated from it by a sufficient quantity of muriatic acid. which when dissolved in water will be very nearly neutralized by an addition of twenty grains more of the same carbonate of potash . for this also becomes a true semi-carbonate by being exposed for a short time to a red heat. have parted with exactly half its gas . cated from it in the same apparatus for the gas extri- will be found to occupy exactly the same space. Sub-carbonate of Soda. in . a part of the redundant acid will be expelled. as the quantity before obtained from two grains of fully saturated carbonate. let tube. or in a glass tube three quarters of an inch diameter. super-sulphate of to contain exactly twice as much necessary for the mere saturation of the alkali Exp. and five or six inches long. By an experiment potash may be shown acid as present. 3. Exp. is equally simple. and there will remain a determinate quantity forming super-sulphate of potash. Super-sulphate of Potash. and with the same result . A similar experiment may be made with a saturated carbonate of soda. and passed up into an inverted tube filled with mercury. so that the space it occupies may be marked upon the Next. Let twenty grains of carbonate of potash (which would be more than neutralized by ten grains of sulphuric acid) be mixed with about twenty-five grains of that acid in a covered crucible of platina. 2. By heating this mixture till it ceases to boil. and begins to appear slightly red hot.36 Wollaston. four grains of the for a short time to a red heat same carbonate be exposed and it will be found to .

by heat which cannot destroy them. 5. if two equal quantities of salt of sorrel be taken. and if one of them be exposed to a red heat. may nevertheless be . the alkali which remains will be found exactly to saturate the redundant acid of the other portion. the acids are made to assume a determinate proportion to their base. Exp. In the preceding experiments. yet analogous to the former. are capable of taking only half the alkali. though different. I found a proportion. 4. Exp. In addition to the preceding compounds. In attempting to decompose the preceding super-oxalate by means of acids. I have observed one distinct remarkable instance of a more extended and general prevalence of the law under consideration .Super-acid of the and Sub-acid Salts. In those which follow. Quadroxalate of Potash. for when the circumstances are such as to admit the union of a further quantity of oxalic acid with potash. it appeared that nitric or muriatic acids. has accordingly exactly four times as much acid as would saturate the alkali that remains. selected as examples of binacid salts. regularly to occur. and that the salt which crystallizes after solution in either of these acids. The common super-oxalate of potash is a salt that contains alkali sufficient to saturate exactly half of the acid present Hence. Super-oxalate of Potash. For the purpose of proving that the constitu- . the proportion which a destructible acid shall assume cannot be regulated by the same means but the constitution of its compounds previously formed. proved with equal facility. 37 consequence quantity of sulphuric acid which remains in the vessel in a gaseous state at a red small heat.

but the first and . And though the strong power of crystallizing in oxalic acid. and it requires the alkali of three equal quantities of the same salt to saturate the three remaining parts of acid. it seems probable that a similar play of affinities will arise in solution. ready to crystallize together. order of to affinities taking place at some definite proportion be expressed by a simple multiple. In order to determine whether oxalic acid is capable of uniting to potash in a proportion intermediate between the double and quadruple quantity of acid. grains The limit to the decomposition of super-oxalate of pot- ash by the above acids. in solution. contains alkali for one part out of four of the acid present. similar to that obtained heat in the third experiment. and added sixty grains more of acid. is analogous to that which occurs when sulphate of potash is decomposed by nitric acid . and the remaining salt is converted for in this case also. It is by not improbable that many other changes in chemsupposed to be influenced by a general redundance of some one ingredient. the thus formed should be purified by a second crystallization in distilled water after which the alkali of thirty . renders the modifications of which its combinations are susceptible more distinct than those of other acids. when other acids exceed their base in the same proportion. no quantity of that acid can take more than half the potash. in the proportion of three to one . may in fact be limited by a new istry. so that I had two parts of potash of twenty-four grains each. I neutralized forty-eight grains of carbonate of potash with thirty grains of oxalic acid. if disposed to unite. in order to neutralize the redundant acid contained in ten The quantity of unburned salt grains of the same salt. must be obtained by exposure to a red heat. into a definite super-sulphate. compound has been rightly ascertained.38 tion of this salt Wollaston. six equivalent quantities of oxalic acid of fifteen grains each.

or salt of sorrel. The binoxalate as i and i. and in acid. other in these salts would respectively But an explanation. To account for this want of disposition to unite in the proportion of three to one by Mr Dalton's theory. to enable us to reason with precision concerning the proportions of elementary atoms. or 2 which cases the ratios which with I 4. The quadroxalate in as i and 2. and hence their virtual extent to be spherical (which is the most . we shall find the arithmetical relation alone will not be sufficient to explain their mutual action. 39 portion of salt that crystallized. that the two quantities of potash were equally divided. have observed of the acids to each obtain. and a portion selected from the after crystals (which differed very discernibly in their form) was found to contain the quadruple proportion of Hence it is to be presumed. all the three dimensions For instance. that when our views are sufficiently extended. it would have been found. was the common binoxalate. the other with the remaining four out of the six equivalent quantities of acid taken. and I am further inclined to think. and that we shall be obliged to acquire a geometrical conception of their relative arrangement in of solid extension. or 2 2. that if these salts could have been perfectly separated. if \ve suppose the limit to the approach of particles to be the same in all directions. I apprehend he might consider the neutral salt as consisting of 2 particles potash with with i acid. which admits the supposition of a double share of potash in the neutral salt.Super-acid and Sub-acid Salts. and combined in one instance with two. is not altogether satisfactory .

if the four particles are situated at the angles of the four equilateral triangles composing a regular tetra- hedron. and would be liable to be deranged by the slightest force of adjacent combinations . but when the number of one set of particles exceeds in the proportion of four to one. the equilibrium would be unstable. the effect of such interference must also be taken into the account. Wollaston. since even admitting that a very small number of these atoms combining together would have a tendency to arrange themselves in the manner I have imagined. but in this arrangement. on the contrary. If there be three. until it is ascertained how small a proportion the primary particles themselves bear to the interval between them. that the geometrical arrangement of primary particles will ever be perfectly known .4O simple hypothesis) . when different sorts combine singly there but one mode of union. yet. a stable equilibrium may again take place. the two particles will naturally arrange themselves at opposite poles of that which they unite. at the angles of an equilateral to triangle in a great circle surrounding the single spherule . although themselves analogous. before any theory of chemical combination can be rendered complete. . it may be supposed that surrounding combinations. they might be arranged with regularity. then. It is perhaps results of the facts too much to hope. and in that case. and must rely for its confirmation or rejection I upon future inquiry. for want of similar matter at the poles of this circle. If they unite in the proportion of two to one. might disturb that arrangement. am desirous -that it should not be confounded with the and observations related above. But as this geometrical arrangement of the primary elements of matter is altogether conjectural. in is this case. which are sufficiently distinct and satisfactory with respect to the existence of the law of simple multiples.

98 (for 1808). commonly terminated by dihedral summits. it absorbs a little moisture from the atmosphere. F. though more so than tartar. It occurs in commerce in prisms attached to each other.R. The taste of this salt is of 60 it dissolves in thrice At the temperature cooling and bitter. When dried on the sand bath.Ed.* Read Jan. its weight of water. M. long known by the name of salt of sorrel. the second by mixing together strontian.S. BY THOMAS THOMSON. 63. 69-70. rhomboids. 1808. then 2* will convert it into superoxalate. .Thomson on Oxalic Acid. if the weight of acid necessary to convert this quantity into oxalate be x.. This salt combines with an excess of acid. 41 EXTRACTS FROM A PAPER ON OXALIC ACID. * Philosophical Transactions. It appears that there are two oxalates of strontian. P. 74. and forms a superoxalate. vol. Suppose 100 parts of potash. The lateral edges of the prism are usually bevelled. It is ammonia and muriate of first remarkable that the contains just double the proportion of base contained in the second.. Oxalate of potash readily crystallizes in flat Pp. and afterwards exposed in a damp place. with strontian oxalate of water. p. the first obtained by saturating oxalic acid . this salt is very nearly The beautiful 4-sided acid contained in is double of what contained in oxalate of potash.D.. 14. It is very sparingly soluble in water.

E.. pp.* This difference between the density of the while their elasticity is the same. this in reality includes the first for every variation in size and density cause likewise but the second if we suppose . or the The first of the atoms. supposing the size and density of the particles of different gases the same. to whose un. is very likely to be the true cause. and as fhey are intimately connected with some of the most intricate parts of the doctrine of affinity. I have ventured. M. By Thomas Thomson. the author has not yet thought fit to publish his hypothesis. We have no direct means of ascertaining the density of the atoms of bodies common is if but Mr Dalton. must be owing of two causes Either the repuhivt force.D. differs in different gases. * of Dalton's views.R. with Mr A System of Chemistry. iii. even supposing that force abstractedly considered to be the same in all. F.. ingenuity and sagacity the philosophic world no stranger.. yet as the notions of which it consists are and extremely interesting. must necessarily occasion a corresponding variation in the repulsive force. Edinburgh 1807. vol. : gases. to one density suppo- sition is by no means probable.S. will furnish us with a very simple it prove correct. And the size and density of the atoms of different gases to differ. 3d edition. . and indeed would but ill agree with the analogy of nature . 424-429 and These extracts form a part of the first public exposition 451-452. method of Though original ascertaining that density with great precision.42 Thomson. has lately contrived an hypothesis which. EXTRACTS FROM THOMSON'S SYSTEM OF CHEMISTRY.

if any occur.Dalton's Dalton's permission. is this When two elements unite to form a third substance. are to be laid written memorandum.* Hypothesis. unless when some reason can be assigned for supposing the contrary. to my account. If we represent an atom of oxygen. derived from a few minutes' conversation. it is : to be presumed that one atom of one joins to one atom of the other. may In justice to Dalton. and not to his . this 43 to enrich work with a short The hypothesis upon which the whole of Mr Dalton's notions respecting chemical elements is founded. sketch of it. that water * is composed of must warn the reader not to decide which I have given. I Mr upon the notions of that philosopher from the sketch . We are to presume that is formed by the combination of one atom of oxygen with one atom of hydrogen. for it has been proved by analysis. In like manner one atom of ammonia is formed by the combination of one atom of azote with one atom of hydrogen. as it is extremely probable that I have misconceived his meaning in some points. and azote. by unite together an atom of water the following symbols. hydrogen. and from a short The mistakes. it furnishes us with a ready method of ascertaining the relative density of those atoms that enter into such combinations . Thus oxygen and hydrogen and form water. Oxygen - Q - Hydrogen Azote (") - Q be repre: Then an atom Water of water and of ammonia will sented respectively by the following symbols - QQ (ZXF) Ammonia But if - - this hypothesis be allowed.

besides some The other compounds which need not be enumerated.44 Thomson. for example. or as i to In like manner an atom of ammonia 6 very nearly. Mr Dalton. forming and nitric acid. while . if it consist of one atom of oxygen united to one atom of hydrogen. arise from the union of one atom of the one with two atoms of the other. by uniting an atom of nitrous gas to an atom of azote. is composed of 85! parts by weight of oxygen and 14^ parts of hydrogen. we shall have two new compounds. on the supposition that these bodies unite. preceding hypothesis will not apply to all these comnitrous oxide. extends is it farther. then the next simple combination must. If we atom of suppose nitrous gas. and that the respective densities of the atoms are as in the preceding table. pounds . to be composed of one azote. or as i to 4. If we suppose farther. has been shown to consist of 80 parts of azote and 20 Hence an atom of hydrogen is to an of hydrogen. An atom of 85^ of oxygen and 14^ of hydrogen. by examining the combina- tion of azote and oxygen. that the weight of one atom of hydrogen is to that of one atom of oxygen as 14^ to 85!. and one of oxygen. water of course obtained the following relative densities of these three elementary bodies. it follows. he supposes. Thus we have atom of azote as 20 to 80. Now. But azote and oxygen unite in various proportions. Hydrogen Azote - - i - Oxygen - 4 6 hypothesis We is have it in our power to try how far this consonant to experiment. atom to atom. that nitrous oxide is composed of an atom of nitrous gas and an atom of azote. therefore. nitrous gas. respectively. Whenever more than one compound formed by the combination of two elements. and to an atom of oxygen.

or are ternary compounds . united atom to atom then the following will be the symbols and constituents of these three bodies : Nitrous gas Nitrous oxide Nitric acid - OCD (JXXD QDO The gas consists only of two atoms. and that this is the reason of the increased specific gravity of each . .174 oxygen. then. When the atoms of two elastic fluids join together to form one atom of a new elastic fluid.7 oxygen.36 oxygen. or is a binary compound. nitrous oxide contains two first atoms of azote united to one of oxygen.oo azote and 1.Dalton's . Nitrous oxide. by calculation. Nitrous gas is composed of i. while nitric acid consists of two atoms of oxygen united to one of azote. of 2 azote and 1. Now as both > nitrous oxide and nitric acid are specifically heavier than nitrous gas. or of 4 azote and 5.4 oxygen. that they are combinations of nitrous gas with azote and oxygen respectively. ought only to be 1. Thus the density of nitrous gas.045 but its real density is 1. the density of this new compound is always greater than the mean. let us see how far this analysis will correspond with the densities of their elements. whereas were not this the case. Hypothesis. the constituents of these gases to be as represented in the preceding table. it is reasonable to conclude. though the one contains more of the lighter ingredient. nitrous oxide ought to be specifically lighter than nitrous gas. Supposing. 45 nitric acid consists of nitrous gas and oxygen. or of 4 + 4 azote and 4. and the other more of the heavier ingredient than that compound does. but the two others consist of three atoms. as above deduced from the compo- sitions of water and ammonia.094.

Though these results do not correspond exactly. : 4 5-4 4.7 4. and : little as can reasonably be expected. yet the difference is certainly not very great. Oxygen.36 oxygen. of i azote and 2.46 Thomson.7 oxygen. but from pre- ceding analyses of water and ammonia. in that case the density of azote would be five instead of four. On is the supposition that the hypothesis of Mr Dalton well founded.7 : : The mean of the whole is nearly 4:5. in analysing gaseous compounds. Nitric acid. and of those which are composed of elastic fluids. together with the symbols of the composition of these compound atoms - : Q O Hydrogen Azote - i 5 - Oxygen - 6 Muriatic acid - . to commit an error of 3 per cent.7+4. if we consider the extreme difficulty of attaining accuracy in the analysis of indeed as gaseous azote compound If ammonia were supposed a compounds. even supposing the hypothesis is well founded. which is all that would be necessary to make the different numbers tally. of 83 azote and 17 hydrogen. or of 4 azote and 4. needless to observe how easy it is. and the different sets of Now it is experiments would coincide very nearly. These three give us the following as the relative densities of azote and oxygen : Azote. we obtained their densities 4 6. the following table exhibits the density of the atoms of the simple gases. instead of 80 and 20 hydrogen.

air. stated nitrous gas. The xxiii. when added to 36 measures of nitrous gas in a narrow tube over water. Mag. * Phil. and one hundred measures leave a residue of 79 inches admitted to 72 measures of nitrous gas in a wide glass vessel over water. or 100 inches of air. or nitric acid saturated with nitrous gas. 21 cubic inches of oxygen gas is capable of uniting with 36 and with 72 cubic inches of nitrous gas. immediately unite and form a yellow-coloured vapour. From the experiments of Dalton. it appears that these gases are capable of uniting in two different proportions.8 inches of If we apply Mr Dalton's hypothesis. in a former Section. following will be the 351. we shall have the first atom of composed of one atom of oxygen united to one the second. of one atom of oxygen nitrous gas . the second is nitrous vapour.4 and with 342. common of oxygen unite with 171. leave likewise a residue of 79 measures.* According to these experiments. when brought into contact. 47 - OO C-}(J) Water 7 Ammonia Nitrous gas - 6 1 1 Q0 (JXXD Nitrous oxide Nitric acid l6 17 - Q0Q -'' Oxymuriatic acid 24 Hyperoxymuriatic acid - 27 Oxygen and nitrous gas.Daltons Hypothesis. One hundred measures of common . The first appears to united to two atoms of nitrous gas. to these combinations. be the substance usually distinguished by the name of nitric acid . .

Density.48 Thomson. EDINBURGH. and the density of that atom. . a triple . nitric acid and nitrous gas. THE DARIEN PRESS. CXDO Nitric acid- - - 17 OOXXDO The first is Nitrous va p ur - - 28 into nitrous gas compound. nitrous gas and oxygen. BRISTO PLACE. or into azote and oxygen but the second is a quintuple compound. symbols denoting the composition of an atom of each. oxygen and azote. and can only be resolved and oxygen. and may be resolved into nitrous oxide and oxygen. obtained by adding together the numbers denoting the density of each of the constituent atoms.

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