Dumas, who regarded them as hydrates of olefiant gas (ethylene); on the other they yielded chloroform, chloral and aldehyde, as well as other compounds of less general interest, and also the method of forming mirrors by depositing silver from a slightly ammoniacal solution by acet aldehyde.
It has been supposed that this theory was suggested to him either by researches on olefiant gas and carburetted hydrogen or by analysis of "protoxide and deutoxide of azote," both views resting on the authority of Dr Thomas Thomson (1773-1852), professor of chemistry in Glasgow university.
deduced the relative weight of the oxygen atom to be 6.5; from marsh gas and olefiant gas he deduced carbon = 5, there being one atom of carbon and two of hydrogen in the former and one atom of hydrogen to one of carbon in the latter; nitrogen had an equivalent of 5, and so on.'
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