Higgins, William, b. 1762 or 1763, d. 1825, Irish chemist. After study at Oxford he became supervisor of the Royal Dublin Society's mineralogical collection and in 1800 the Society's professor of chemistry. He worked on the chemistry of bleaching and the detection of adulterants in commercial alkalies. Although the discovery of the chemical atomic theory is usually credited to English scientist John Dalton, Higgins claimed that the discovery was his own.
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