Item #002478 Meteorological Observations and Essays. John DALTON.
Meteorological Observations and Essays
Meteorological Observations and Essays

Interesting association copy, dedicated to William Henry

Meteorological Observations and Essays.

Manchester: Printed by Harrison and Crosfield for Baldwin and Cradock, 1834.

2nd Edition. Hardcover. Near Fine. Item #002478

8vo (227 x 140 mm). xx, 244, [4] pp., including publisher's advertisements on final [4] pages. Original publisher's boards, printed paper label on spine (joints cracked and weakened, corners bumped). Pages opened but untrimmed. Text crisp and clean. Provenance: AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPY inscribed "Dr. Henry with respects from the Author" on front free endpaper, The library of Hugh Selbourne. Fine unsophisticated dedication copy. ----

Wheeler Gift 582; Norman 574 (both for 1st ed.). SECOND EDITION. This work, according to Dalton himself, "contained the germs of most of the ideas afterwards expanded by him into discoveries." (DNB V, 428-34). It contains a series of essays on barometric pressure, storm patterns, temperature, the aurora borealis, among other meteorological matters. Of importance is his observations on evaporation, including his theory that diffusion of water vapor in the atmosphere was not a chemical process.
Dalton dedicated this copy to his colleague and close friend, William Henry (1775-1836). Henry is best known for the law named after him which states that the solubility of a gas is directly proportional to the partial pressure of that gas over the solution (Henry's law). Already in 1803, Dalton had formulated that each gas in a mixture of gases exerts a pressure proportionate to the percentage of the gas and independent of the presence of the other gases present (law of partial pressures). That combined into Dalton-Henry law, which says that, in dissolving a mixture of gases, a liquid will absorb as much of each gas in the mixture as if that were the only gas dissolved - a fundamental principle that has become important to dive physiology and medicine nowadays.

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