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John Dalton. Portrait of English meteorologist, chemist and physicist, John Dalton (1766-1844). He was the first chemist to propose the atomic theory of matter. Dalton came from a Quaker family in Cumberland, England, where his father was a weaver. As a quick learner, by the age of 12 he had left school to become a teacher. His first love was meteorology and for 57 years he kept daily weather records using instruments he built. He proved that rain is precipitated by a decrease in temperature. He described colour-blindness. In 1801 he discovered the law of partial pressures of gases, and in 1803 published his theory that all matter consists of indivisible "atoms".
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