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Chemist John Dalton is credited with pioneering modern atomic theory. He was also the first to study color blindness.
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The splitting of the atom in the 20th century could most likely not have been accomplished without Dalton laying the foundation of knowledge about the atomic makeup of simple and complex molecules. Dalton's discoveries also allowed for the cost-efficient manufacturing of chemical compounds,
since they essentially give manufacturers a recipe for determining the correct chemical proportions in a given compound.
The majority of conclusions that made up Dalton's atomic theory still stand today.
"Now with nanotechnology, atoms are the centerpiece," said Nottingham University Professor of Chemistry David Garner. "Atoms are manipulated directly to make new medicines, semiconductors and plastics." He went on to further explain, "He gave us the first understanding of the nature of materials. Now we can design molecules with a pretty good idea of their properties."
In 2003, on the bicentennial of Dalton's public announcement of his atomic theory, the Manchester Museum held a tribute to the man, his life and his groundbreaking scientific discoveries.
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