Show Summary Details

p. 303. Atomic weight, triads, and Proutlocked

  • Eric R. Scerri


‘Atomic weight, triads, and Prout’ discusses the shift in chemical thinking from qualitative analysis to quantitative analysis. John Dalton, drawing on the work of Antoine Lavoisier and Benjamin Richter, was the first to put forward the ideas of modern atomic theory. Avogadro realized that gases could exist as diatomic molecules, and Von Humboldt and Gay-Lussac postulated that these molecules reacted in a ratio. Prout also realized that atomic weight rose in multiples of the weight of hydrogen. Döbereiner introduced the concept of triads of similarly reacting elements, but developments of this system were flawed. It was Kremers who first started to relate elements that were chemically dissimilar, thus paving the way for periodicity.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.