35 John Dalton Quotes from English Chemist & Physicist

John Dalton, an English meteorologist and chemist, developed the modern atomic theory, revolutionizing chemistry by suggesting that atoms of different elements vary in size and mass.

Despite initial controversy and rejection from the Royal Society, his theory, though initially crude and partially incorrect, gained acceptance, significantly advancing organic chemistry and earning him the title “father of chemistry.”

Dalton, born into a Quaker family, was educated in mathematics, Greek, Latin and meteorology by mentors Elihu Robinson and John Gough.


He published ‘Meteorological Observations and Essays,’ and received numerous accolades in his lifetime, including fellowship in the Royal Society of London and Edinburgh and an honorary degree from Oxford.

I have made a list of the top quotes by John Dalton.

Top 5 John Dalton Quotes


Looking to Elevate Your Life?

~ Motivational Books: Read Motivational Books to Grow in Life.
~ Motivational Wall Decor: Powerful tool for boosting self-esteem and motivation.
~ Motivational Gifts: Encourage or motivate you to take action.
~ Father's Day Gift Ideas: Unique and Great Gift Ideas for Your Father.

My head is too full of triangles, chemical processes and electrical experiments, etc., to think much of marriage. ~ John Dalton.


This paper will no doubt be found interesting by those who take an interest in it. ~ John Dalton.


It’s the right idea, but not the right time. ~ John Dalton.


We do not know that anyone of the bodies denominated elementary, is absolutely decomposable… ~ John Dalton.


The ultimate particles of all homogeneous bodies are perfectly alike in weight, figure &c. ~ John Dalton.

Great John Dalton Quotes

I spent several years acquiring the obsessive, day-to-day discipline that’s needed if you want to write professionally, then several more, highly valuable years studying fiction writing at the University of Iowa. ~ John Dalton.

The field of science is large; it is, therefore, impossible for any individual to cultivate the whole. ~ John Dalton.

These observations have tacitly led to the conclusion which seems universally adopted, that all bodies of sensible magnitude, whether liquid or solid, are constituted of a vast number of extremely small particles, or atoms of matter. ~ John Dalton.

A pure elastic fluid is one the constituent particles of which are all alike, or in no way distinguishable. Steam, or aqueous vapour, hydrogenous gas, oxygenous gas… and several others are of this kind…. Whatever… may be the shape or figure of the solid atom abstractedly, when surrounded by such an atmosphere it must be globular; but as all the globules in any small given volume are subject to the same pressure, they must be equal in bulk, and will therefore be arranged in horizontal strata, like a pile of shot. ~ John Dalton.

I have chosen the word atom to signify these ultimate particles in preference to particle, molecule, or any other diminutive term, because I conceive it is much more expressive; it includes in itself the notion of indivisible, which the other terms do not. ~ John Dalton.


Winds have ever been considered, with reason, as having a principal share in producing changes of weather, and therefore they demand a particular regard in meteorology. ~ John Dalton.

If I have succeeded better than many who surround me, it has been chiefly, nay, I may say, almost solely from unwearied assiduity. It is not so much from any superior genius that one man possesses over another, but more from attention to study, and perseverance in the objects before them, that some men rise to greater eminence than others. ~ John Dalton.

Best John Dalton Quotes

Observations [of matter].have tacitly led to the conclusion which seems universally adopted, that all bodies of sensible magnitude, whether solid or liquid, are constituted of a vast number of extremely small particles bound together by a force of attraction. ~ John Dalton.

I was introduced to Mr. Davy, who has rooms adjoining mine (in the Royal Institution); he is a very agreeable and intelligent young man, and we have interesting conversation in an evening; the principal failing in his character as a philosopher is that he does not smoke. ~ John Dalton.

When we attempt to conceive the number of particles in an atmosphere, it is somewhat like attempting to conceive the number of stars in the universe; we are confounded with the thought. But if we limit the subject, by taking a given volume of any gas, we seem persuaded that, let the divisions be ever so minute, the number of particles must be finite; just as in a given space of the universe, the number of stars and planets cannot be infinite. ~ John Dalton.

Philosophers are generally persuaded, that the sensations of heat and cold are occasioned by the presence or absence, in degree, of certain principle or quality denominated fire or heat… It is most probable, that all substances whatever contain more or less of this principle. Respecting the nature of the principle, however, there is a diversity of sentiment : some supposing it a substance, others a quality, or property of substance. Boerhaave, followed by most of the moderns, is of the former opinion; Newton, with some others, are of the latter; these conceive heat to consist in an internal vibratory motion of the particles of bodies. ~ John Dalton.

Chemical analysis and synthesis go no farther than to the separation of particles one from another, and to their reunion. No new creation or destruction of matter is within the reach of chemical agency. We might as well attempt to introduce a new planet into the solar system, or to annihilate one already in existence, as to create or destroy a particle of hydrogen. All the changes we can produce, consist in separating particles that are in a state of cohesion or combination, and joining those that were previously at a distance. ~ John Dalton.

Those who are conversant in practical chemistry, know that not more than one new experiment in five is fit to be reported to the public; the rest are found, upon due reflection, to be some way or other defective, and are useful only as they shew the source of error, and the means of avoiding it. ~ John Dalton.

Famous John Dalton Quotes

Berzelius’ symbols are horrifying. A young student in chemistry might as soon learn Hebrew as make himself acquainted with them…They appear to me equally to perplex the adepts in science, to discourage the learner, as well as to cloud the beauty and simplicity of the atomic theory. ~ John Dalton.

We should scarcely be excused in concluding this essay without calling the reader’s attention to the beneficent and wise laws established by the author of nature to provide for the various exigencies of the sublunary creation, and to make the several parts dependent upon each other, so as to form one well-regulated system or whole. ~ John Dalton.

Now it is one great object of this work, to shew the importance and advantage of ascertaining the relative weights of the ultimate particles, both of simple and compound bodies, the number of simple elementary particles which constitute one compound particle, and the number of less compound particles which enter into the formation of one more compound particle. ~ John Dalton.

When we consider the very important part which the two elements of hydrogen and oxygen seem to perform in the arrangement of chemical compounds, we are inclined to wonder that no more than one compound of these two elements themselves should be found. ~ John Dalton.

Quotes about John Dalton

What chemists took from Dalton was not new experimental laws but a new way of practicing chemistry (he himself called it the “new system of chemical philosophy”), and this proved so rapidly fruitful that only a few of the older chemists in France and Britain were able to resist it. ~ Thomas S. Kuhn.

It can happen to but few philosophers, and but at distant intervals, to snatch a science, like Dalton, from the chaos of indefinite combination, and binding it in the chains of number, to exalt it to rank amongst the exact. Triumphs like these are necessarily ‘few and far between.’ ~ Charles Babbage.


Atoms are round balls of wood invented by Dr. Dalton. ~ Sir Henry Enfield Roscoe.

In the vestibule of the Manchester Town Hall are placed two life-sized marble statues facing each other. One of these is that of John Dalton … the other that of James Prescott Joule. … Thus honour is done to Manchester’s two greatest sons—to Dalton, the founder of modern Chemistry and of the Atomic Theory, and the laws of chemical-combining proportions; to Joule, the founder of modern Physics and the discoverer of the Law of Conservation of Energy. The one gave to the world the final and satisfactory proof … that in every kind of chemical change no loss of matter occurs; the other proved that in all the varied modes of physical change, no loss of energy takes place. ~ Sir Henry Enfield Roscoe.

Our most distinguished “man of science” was the then veteran John Dalton. He was rarely absent from his seat in a warm corner of the room during the meetings of the Literary and Philosophical Society. Though a sober-minded Quaker, he was not devoid of some sense of fun; and there was a tradition amongst us, not only that he had once been a poet, but that, although a bachelor, two manuscript copies were still extant of his verses on the subject of matrimonial felicity; and it is my belief there was foundation for the tradition. The old man was sensitive on the subject of his age. Dining one day … he was placed between two ladies … [who] resolved to extract from him some admission on the tender point, but in vain. Though never other than courteous, Dalton foiled all their feminine arts and retained his secret. … Dalton’s quaint and diminutive figure was a strongly individualized one. ~ William Crawford Williamson.

As pilgrimages to the shrines of saints draw thousands of English Catholics to the Continent, there may be some persons in the British Islands sufficiently in love with science, not only to revere the memory of its founders, but to wish for a description of the locality and birth-place of a great master of knowledge – John Dalton – who did more for the world’s civilisation than all the reputed saints in Christendom. ~ Henry Lonsdale.

Newton’s passage from a falling apple to a falling moon was an act of the prepared imagination. Out of the facts of chemistry the constructive imagination of Dalton formed the atomic theory. Davy was richly endowed with the imaginative faculty, while with Faraday its exercise was incessant, preceding, accompanying and guiding all his experiments. His strength and fertility as a discoverer are to be referred in great part to the stimulus of the imagination. ~ John Tyndall.

John Dalton was a very singular Man, a quaker by profession & practice: He has none of the manners or ways of the world. A tolerable mathematician He gained his livelihood I believe by teaching the mathematics to young people. He pursued science always with mathematical views. He seemed little attentive to the labours of men except when they countenanced or confirmed his own ideas… He was a very disinterested man, seemed to have no ambition beyond that of being thought a good Philosopher. He was a very coarse Experimenter & almost always found the results he required.—Memory & observation were subordinate qualities in his mind. He followed with ardour analogies & inductions & however his claims to originality may admit of question I have no doubt that he was one of the most original philosophers of his time & one of the most ingenious. ~ Sir Humphry Davy.

[John] Dalton was a man of regular habits. For fifty-seven years he walked out of Manchester every day; he measured the rainfall, the temperature—a singularly monotonous enterprise in this climate. Of all that mass of data, nothing whatever came. But of the one searching, almost childlike question about the weights that enter the construction of these simple molecules—out of that came modern atomic theory. That is the essence of science: ask an impertinent question, and you are on the way to the pertinent answer. ~ Jacob Bronowski.

John Dalton’s records, carefully preserved for a century, were destroyed during the World War II bombing of Manchester. It is not only the living who are killed in war. ~ Isaac Asimov.

Wollaston may be compared to Dalton for originality of view & was far his superior in accuracy. He was an admirable manipulator, steady, cautious & sure. His judgement was cool.—His views sagacious.—His inductions made with care, slowly formed & seldom renounced. He had much of the same spirit of Philosophy as Cavendish, he applied science to purposes of profit & for many years sold manufactured platinum. He died very rich. ~ June Zimmerman (J.Z.) Fullmer.

Mr. Dalton’s aspect and manner were repulsive. There was no gracefulness belonging to him. His voice was harsh and brawling; his gait stiff and awkward; his style of writing and conversation dry and almost crabbed. In person he was tall, bony, and slender. He never could learn to swim: on investigating this circumstance he found that his spec. grav. as a mass was greater than that of water; and he mentioned this in his lectures on natural philosophy in illustration of the capability of different persons for attaining the art of swimming. Independence and simplicity of manner and originality were his best qualities. Though in comparatively humble circumstances he maintained the dignity of the philosophical character. As the first distinct promulgator of the doctrine that the elements of bodies unite in definite proportions to form chemical compounds, he has acquired an undying fame. ~ John Davy.

So these were the 35 top John Dalton quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Orhan Pamuk quotes and Orison Swett Marden quotes.

Share with others!
Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar