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Atmosphere: A Scientific History of Air, Weather, and by Michael Allaby

By Michael Allaby

Surroundings: a systematic historical past of Air, climate, and weather describes how scientists, starting in old Greece, have slowly unraveled the chemical composition of air and the actual legislation that control its habit. It tells of the software makers who invented the apparatus that allowed them to degree the nation of the air, the balloonists who first explored the higher surroundings, and of the expansion in figuring out of climate phenomena and their motives.

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Additional info for Atmosphere: A Scientific History of Air, Weather, and Climate (Discovering the Earth)

Sample text

Parts per billion by volume now known as Dalton’s law of partial pressures. Air, or any other mixture of gases, exerts a pressure. Dalton’s law states that the total pressure the mixture exerts is equal to the sum of the pressures each ingredient of the mixture exerts individually. This is known as the partial pressure of each ingredient, and it is proportional to the amount of that ingredient the mixture contains. For example, air is approximately  percent nitrogen and  percent oxygen, and the average sea-level atmospheric pressure is  kilopascals (kPa) or  27 28 ATMOSPHERE bar.

Bubbling the air through the alkaline solution removed the fi xed air. Rutherford concluded that the remaining air was saturated with phlogiston. He called it fi xed air or noxious air. Joseph Priestley, who was also studying the same gas at about that time, called it burnt air or phlogisticated air. Karl Scheele (see “Karl Scheele, Joseph Priestley, and Dephlogisticated Air” on pages –) and Henry Cavendish (–; see “Henry Cavendish and the Constant Composition of Air” on pages –) were also studying the gas.

This was sufficient to allow him to enjoy a higher standard of living than the one he chose. It was also a considerable honor. Then as now the government supported science through funding institutions and through employing scientists directly. It was rare to reward an individual in this way. Dalton lived simply. His only regular recreation was a game of bowls, which he played every Thursday afternoon. The English game is quite different from bowling. It is played on an absolutely level, closely cropped lawn called a green, or its indoor equivalent, and there are no pins.

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