sedimentation coefficient

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sedimentation coefficient

[‚sed·ə·mən′tā·shən ‚kō·i′fish·ənt]
(physical chemistry)
In the sedimentation of molecules in an accelerating field, such as that of a centrifuge, the velocity of the boundary between the solution containing the molecules and the solvent divided by the accelerating field. (In the case of a centrifuge, the accelerating field equals the distance of the boundary from the axis of rotation multiplied by the square of the angular velocity in radians per second.)
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When the sedimentation coefficients of then-known viruses were plotted against their isopycnic banding densities, nearly all viruses fell into an otherwise essentially vacant area in the center of the plot, surrounded at higher or lower density and higher or lower sedimentation coefficients by various subcellular organelles and macromolecules.