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Old 10-09-2012, 08:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
Talfuchre
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Are you sure Tower? I thought it was a fixed ratio - not one to one -

" In 1803 Dalton noted that oxygen and carbon combined to make two compounds. Of course, each had its own particular weight ratio of oxygen to carbon (1.33:1 and 2.66:1), but also, for the same amount of carbon, one had exactly twice as much oxygen as the other. This led him to propose the Law of Simple Multiple Proportions, which was later verified by the Swedish chemist Berzelius. In an attempt to explain how and why elements would combine with one another in fixed ratios and sometimes also in multiples of those ratios, Dalton formulated his atomic theory.

The idea of atoms had been proposed much earlier. The ancient Greek philosophers had talked about atoms, but Dalton's theory was different in that it had the weight of careful chemical measurements behind it. It wasn't just a philosophical statement that there are atoms because there must be atoms. His atomic theory, stated that elements consisted of tiny particles called atoms. He said that the reason an element is pure is because all atoms of an element were identical and that in particular they had the same mass. He also said that the reason elements differed from one another was that atoms of each element were different from one another; in particular, they had different masses. He also said that compounds consisted of atoms of different elements combined together. Compounds are pure substances (remember they cannot be separated into elements by phase changes) because the atoms of different elements are bonded to one another somehow, perhaps by hooks, and are not easily separated from one another. Compounds have constant composition because they contain a fixed ratio of atoms and each atom has its own characteristic weight, thus fixing the weight ratio of one element to the other. In addition he said that chemical reactions involved the rearrangement of combinations of those atoms."
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