Lecture 20 - Rise of the Atomic Theory (1790-1805)
recorded by: Yale University
published: June 10, 2010, recorded: October 2008, views: 2597
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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This lecture traces the development of elemental analysis as a technique for the determination of the composition of organic compounds beginning with Lavoisier's early combustion and fermentation experiments, which showed a new, if naïve, attitude toward handling experimental data. Dalton's atomic theory was consistent with the empirical laws of definite, equivalent, and multiple proportions. The basis of our current notation and of precise analysis was established by Berzelius, but confusion about atomic weight multiples, which could have been clarified early by the law of Avogadro and Gay-Lussac, would persist for more than half a century.
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Reading assignments, problem sets, PowerPoint presentations, and other resources for this lecture can be accessed from Professor McBride's on-campus course website, which was developed for his Fall 2008 students. Please see Resources section below.
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