John Dalton

John Dalton (6 September 1766 - 27 July 1844) was an English chemist, meteorologist and physicist.
He was a self-educated chemist who evolved the Atomic Theory, central to modern scientific thought.
Dalton was the son of an impoverished Quaker weaver of little or no education who despite his own disadvantages ensured that his sons were provided with ample reading material to pursue their own learning paths. At the astounding   age of twelve, Dalton was given charge of a Quaker school at Eaglesfield and two years later he and his brother were appointed teachers at a school in Kendal, where he was to remain for twelve years! At that time, the universities were closed to all but members of the Anglican Church, but he was fortunate to become a teacher of mathematics and natural philosophy at New College, Manchester, an institution founded for the education of Nonconformists.
Dalton's first scientific work, which he began in 1787 and continued until his death was a journal of 200,000 entries on meteorological observations recording the unpredictable climate of the English Lake District. In 1793 He published Meteorological Observations and Essays, which contained the nucleus of several of his later discoveries. Inspired by a spectacular aurora borealis appearance in 1787, he began observations about aurora phenomena--luminous, colourful displays in the sky caused by electrical disturbances in the atmosphere. His writings on this subject show the nature of the man. He was   self-reliant, unwilling to depend on the work of others. He was assiduous in his work and determined to find the explanation of the phenomenon. As Dalton himself wrote, "Having been in my progress so often misled by taking for granted the results of others, I have determined to write as little as possible but what I can attest by my own experience."

It was this approach, which led Dalton to one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the Nineteenth Century, The Atomic Theory, which laid the basis...