With Sydney Young and others he investigated the critical state and properties of liquids and the relationship between their vapour pressures and temperature, and with John Shields he applied measurements of the surface tension of liquids to the determination of their molecular complexity.
The freezing points and vapour pressures of solutions of sugar are also in conformity with the theoretical numbers.
Among other subjects at which he subsequently worked were the absorption of gases in blood (1837-1845), the expansion of gases by heat (1841-1844), the vapour pressures of water and various solutions (1844-1854), thermo-electricity (1851), electrolysis (1856), induction of currents (1858-1861), conduction of heat in gases (1860), and polarization of heat (1866-1868).
If M 1, M2, and P 1, P 2 be the molecular weights and vapour pressures of the components A and B, then the ratio of A to B in the distillate is M 1 P 1 /M 2 P 2.
The vapour pressure composition curve will be convex to the axis of compositions, the maximum vapour pressures corresponding to pure A and pure B, and the minimum to some mixture of A and B.