Theodor Svedberg

Theodor Svedberg

Svedberg, Theodor or The, 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).
Theodor Svedberg (August 30, 1884February 25, 1971) was a Swedish chemist and Nobel laureate. His work with colloids supported the theories of Brownian motion put forward by Einstein and the Polish geophysicist Marian Smoluchowski. During this work, he developed the technique of analytical ultracentrifugation, and demonstrated its utility in distinguishing pure proteins one from another.

The unit svedberg (symbol S), a unit of time amounting to 10-13 s or 100 fs, is named after him.


  • Stig Claesson; Kai O. Pedersen (1972). "The Svedberg. 1884-1971". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 18 594–627..
  • Kyle, R A; Shampo M A (1997). "Theodor Svedberg and the ultracentrifuge". Mayo Clin. Proc. 72 (9): 830.

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