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20. Rise of the Atomic Theory (1790-1805)

Freshman Organic Chemistry (CHEM 125) 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 na?ve, 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. 00:00 - Chapter 1. The Development of Elemental Analysis: Lavoisier's Early Combustion and Fermentation Experiments 12:24 - Chapter 2. The Correct Experiment: Early Dealings with Experimental Data 28:05 - Chapter 3. John Dalton's Proportions and Atomic Theory 37:28 - Chapter 4. Berzelius's Contributions to Modern Precise Analysis and the Atomic Weight Confusion Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: This course was recorded in Fall 2008.
Length: 50:01


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