Theodor Svedberg

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Svedberg, Theodor or The

(tā`ōdôr svād`bĕryə, tā), 1884–1971, Swedish chemist. He was professor of physical chemistry from 1912 to 1949 at the Univ. of Uppsala. For his fundamental research on colloid chemistry he received the 1926 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Svedberg studied especially the giant protein molecules, evolving for this work an ultracentrifuge. He wrote Colloid Chemistry (1924, 2d ed. 1928) and was (with K. O. Pedersen) coauthor of The Ultracentrifuge (1940).
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Svedberg, Theodor


Born Aug. 30, 1884, in Valbo; died Feb. 26, 1971, in Kopparberg. Swedish physical chemist. Member of the Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Svedberg graduated in 1907 from the University of Uppsala, where he later worked. In 1949 he became director of the Gus-taf Wenners Institute for Nuclear Chemistry. His principal works are devoted to colloid chemistry, electrophoresis, and the determination of molecular size and shape. In 1906, Svedberg experimentally confirmed the theory of Brownian motion, formulated by A. Einstein and R. Smoluchowski. He developed a method of ultracentrifugation to separate colloidal particles from solution and designed the first ultracentrifuge. He also made substantial contributions to the physical chemistry of proteins. Svedberg was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1926.


Die Existenz der Molekiile. Leipzig, 1912.
Colloid Chemistry. New York, 1924.


The Svedberg, 1884–1944. [Uppsala, 1944.]
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.