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Dalton, John – Philosophical Experiments – 02 Atoms and the Laws of Attraction

Identifier

025344

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

A description of the experience

John Dalton – Philosophical Experiments

CHEMISTRY

Chemical attraction differs from general attraction, or gravity, in a most important particular. It is an effect which takes place only between the particles of which all bodies are composed; it does not act upon masses, and, consequently, before its influence can be excited, the particles must be brought into close contact with each other. Some bodies do not show the affinity they have for each other, unless they are even mixed as liquids, or have some liquid added to them. If we mix what forms a very pleasant kind of drink in the summer time, bicarbonate of soda and Tartaric acid, together, in the dry state, they will remain as a mechanical mixture only, the same as if we were to mix a quantity of bran and flour together ; but if we add a little water, a violent effervescence takes place, the particles have then been brought close enough for their affinities to come into action, and a chemical compound is the result.

The same principle may be illustrated, by a simple experiment, with quicksilver ; …. If we place two globules on the table, a little distance apart, they will not attract each other with sufficient force to be drawn together ; but if they are gradually pushed closer to each other, when they have passed a certain limit, they suddenly fly together and form one globule. It is necessary, therefore, in order to produce a combination, that the two should be brought close to each other ; the attraction will not show itself at a distance ; and this is the case with chemical attraction. It may be regarded, therefore, as a law of chemical combination, that as affinity is a power exerted only by particles of matter upon each other, they must be brought into immediate contact, before any effect run be produced.

The source of the experience

Dalton, John

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Atom

Symbols

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

References