John Dalton FRS (6 September 1766 – 27 July 1844) was an English chemist, meteorologist and physicist. He is best known for his pioneering work in the development of modern atomic theory, and his research into colour blindness (sometimes referred to as Daltonism, in his honour).
A bust of Dalton, by Chantrey, was publicly subscribed for and placed in the entrance hall of the Royal Manchester Institution. Chantrey also crafted a large statue of Dalton, now in the Manchester Town Hall. The statue was erected while Dalton was still alive and it has been said: "He is probably the only scientist who got a statue in his lifetime".
In honour of Dalton's work, many chemists and biochemists use the (as yet unofficial) unit dalton (abbreviated Da) to denote one atomic mass unit, or 1/12 the weight of a neutral atom of carbon-12. There is a John Dalton Street connecting Deansgate and Albert Square in the centre of Manchester.
Manchester Metropolitan University has a building named after John Dalton and occupied by the Faculty of Science and Engineering, in which the majority of its Science & Engineering lectures and classes take place. A statue is outside the John Dalton Building of the Manchester Metropolitan University in Chester Street which has been moved from Piccadilly. It was the work of William Theed (after Chantrey) and is dated 1855 (it was in Piccadilly until 1966).
The University of Manchester has a hall of residence called Dalton Hall; it also established two Dalton Chemical Scholarships, two Dalton Mathematical Scholarships, and a Dalton Prize for Natural History. There is a Dalton Medal awarded occasionally by the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society (only 12 times altogether).
Dalton Township in southern Ontario was named for Dalton. It has, since 2001, been absorbed into the City of Kawartha Lakes. However the township name was used in a massive new park: Dalton Digby Wildlands Provincial Park, itself renamed since 2002.
A lunar crater has been named after Dalton. "Daltonism" became a common term for colour blindness and "Daltonien" is the actual French word for "colour blind".
The inorganic section of the UK's Royal Society of Chemistry is named after Dalton (Dalton Division), and the Society's academic journal for inorganic chemistry also bears his name (Dalton Transactions).
The name Dalton can often be heard in the halls of many Quaker schools, for example, one of the school houses in Coram House, the primary sector of Ackworth School, is called Dalton.
Much of his collected work was damaged during the bombing of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society on 24 December 1940. This event prompted Isaac Asimov to say, "John Dalton's records, carefully preserved for a century, were destroyed during the World War II bombing of Manchester. It is not only the living who are killed in war". The damaged papers are now in the John Rylands Library having been deposited in the university library by the Society.
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