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Dalton

  1. British chemist whose pioneering work on the properties of the atmosphere and gases led him to formulate the atomic theory. Dalton's theory stipulates that all matter is made up of combinations of atoms, the atoms of each element being identical. These atoms can be neither created nor destroyed, but chemical reactions take place through their rearrangement.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.