Theodor H.E. Svedberg
(30 Aug 1884-25 Feb 1971)
The Svedberg, right, with colleague, 1926
Swedish chemist who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1926 for his studies in the chemistry of colloids and for his invention of the ultracentrifuge which he introduced (1924) as a technique for investigating the molecular weights of very large molecules. He showed that the molecular weights of proteins were much higher than originally thought (hemoglobin, for instance, has a molecular weight of about 68,000. Further, he showed the same protein invariably yielded the same weight thus implying that they did have a definite size and composition and were not, as Wilhelm Ostwald had earlier maintained, irregular assemblies of smaller molecules. Svedberg also contributed to development of the cyclotron and the electrophoresis process of chemical analysis.