On this day in oil and gas: September 6 - Atomic Theory

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September 6th, 1766, Eaglesfield, The Kingdom of Great Britain – A second child is born into a Quaker family in the picturesque Lake District of North Western England.

The son of a weaver, John Dalton was an intelligent youth but as part of a "Dissenter" religious movement, was barred from attending university in England. Moving out of the Lakes, Dalton studied under blind polymath John Gough and would eventually ply his trade as a private tutor of mathematics and natural philosophy.

Colour blind since birth, Dalton’s first triumph was his in-depth study into the condition – which latterly became known as Daltonism. Nice work, but here in the oil and gas industry what we are primarily concerned with is Dalton’s modern atomic theory, point one of which is: Elements are made of extremely small particles called atoms. Along with four other equally concise assertions, Dalton’s theory would determine the future of the science.

I’ll repeat that: THE FUTURE OF SCIENCE. Try and extract shale oil or store LNG without science, oil and gas industry! Although he did become the father of atomic theory without a college education, so go figure…

Up and atom!



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