Svedberg , Theodor

Svedberg , Theodor
(1884–1971) Swedish chemist
Svedberg, born the son of a civil engineer in Fleräng, Sweden, was educated at the University of Uppsala, where he obtained his doctorate in 1908. He spent his whole career at the university, becoming a lecturer in physical chemistry in 1907, a professor (1912–49), and finally, in 1949, director of the Institute of Nuclear Chemistry.
In 1924 he introduced the ultracentrifuge as a technique for investigating the molecular weights of very large molecules. In a suspension of particles, there is a tendency for the particles to settle (under the influence of gravity); this is opposed by Brownian motion, i.e., by collision with molecules. The rate of sedimentation depends on the size and weight of the particles, and can be used to measure these.
Svedberg applied this to measuring the sedimentation of proteins in solution, using an ultracentrifuge that generated forces much greater than that of the Earth's gravitational field. Using this, he could measure the molecular weights of proteins and was able to show that these were much higher than originally thought (hemoglobin, for instance, has a molecular weight of about 68,000).
Apart from confirming the claim made by Hermann Staudinger for the existence of giant molecules, Svedberg's invention also settled one further question. 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. For his work on the ultracentrifuge Svedberg was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1926.
Svedberg was less successful with the inference he drew from his measurements of protein molecular weights. He thought that the molecular weight of egg albumin formed the basic protein unit of which all the other proteins were multiples. Following later research by crystallographers in the 1930s this view was disproved.

Scientists. . 2011.

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  • Svedberg, Theodor H.E. — ▪ Swedish chemist byname  The Svedberg   born Aug. 30, 1884, Fleräng, near Gävle, Sweden died Feb. 25, 1971, Örebro       Swedish chemist who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1926 for his studies in the chemistry of colloids (colloid) and for …   Universalium

  • Svedberg, Theodor — ► (1884 1971) Químico sueco. Fue premio Nobel de Química en 1926, por sus trabajos sobre la química coloidal, que desarrollan el método del ultracentrifugado …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Svedberg — Svedberg, Theodor …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Theodor Svedberg — Retrato de Theodor Svedberg Theodor (The) Svedberg (nacido el 30 de agosto de 1884 en Valbo fallecido el 25 de febrero de 1971) fue un químico sueco y profesor universitario, ganador del Premio Nobel de Química en 1926. Biografía Estudió …   Wikipedia Español

  • Theodor Svedberg — Portait de Theodor Svedberg Theodor Svedberg (30 août 1884 25 février 1971) était un chimiste suédois. Ses recherches sur les colloïdes ont conforté les théories du mouvement brownien proposées par Albert Einstein et Marian Smoluchowski. Il… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Svedberg-Einheit — Der Sedimentationskoeffizient ist der Quotient aus der maximalen Sedimentationsgeschwindigkeit eines Teilchens in einer Zentrifuge geteilt durch die Stärke des Zentrifugalfelds. Die Dimension des Koeffizienten ist Zeit, seine Maßeinheit ist… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Theodor — (as used in expressions) Adorno Theodor Wiesengrund Billroth Christian Albert Theodor Böll Heinrich Theodor Boveri Theodor Heinrich Dreyer Carl Theodor Fechner Gustav Theodor Fontane Theodor Geiger Theodor Julius Geisel Theodor Seuss Herzl… …   Universalium

  • Svedberg — Theodor, Swedish chemist and Nobel laureate, 1884–1971. See S. equation, S. of flotation, S. unit. * * * sved·berg sfed .bərg, .ber ē n a unit of time amounting to 10 13 second that is used to measure the sedimentation velocity of a colloidal… …   Medical dictionary

  • Theodor — may refer to: * Theodor Adorno, German philosopher * Theodor Fontane, German writer * Theodor Geisel, also known by the pseudonym Dr. Seuss * Theodor Herzl, founder of modern political Zionism * Theodor Heuss, German politician and publicist *… …   Wikipedia

  • Theodor Svedberg — (n. Valbo, 30 de agosto de 1884 † Kopparberg, 25 de febrero de 1971). Químico sueco. Se educó en la Universidad de Uppsala, de la que en 1912 llegó a ser profesor de química física. En 1926 le fue otorgado el premio Nobel de Química por sus… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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