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Theodor Svedberg

The Svedberg
Born Theodor Svedberg
(1884-08-30)30 August 1884
Died 25 February 1971(1971-02-25) (aged 86)
Kopparberg, Sweden
Nationality Swedish
Fields Biochemistry
Alma mater Uppsala University
Doctoral students Arne Tiselius
Known for analytical ultracentrifugation
Colloid chemistry
Notable awards Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1926)[1]
Franklin Medal (1949)
Fellow of the Royal Society (1944)[2]
Theodor ("The") Svedberg

(30 August 1884 – 25 February 1971) was a Swedish chemist and Nobel laureate, active at Uppsala University.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Research 2
  • Awards and honours 3
  • References 4

Early life and education

Theodor Svedberg was born in Gavleborg, Sweden. He was the son of Augusta Alstermark and Elias Svedberg. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1905, his master's degree in 1907, and in 1908, he earned his Ph.D.[3]


Svedberg's work with colloids supported the theories of Brownian motion put forward by Albert 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.[2][4]

Awards and honours

The unit svedberg (symbol S), a unit of time amounting to 10−13 s or 100 fs, is named after him, as well as the The Svedberg Laboratory in Uppsala.[5]

Svedberg's candidacy for the Royal Society reads:

"distinguished for his work in physical and colloid chemistry and the development of the ultracentrifuge"[6]


  1. ^ Svedberg's Nobel Foundation biography
  2. ^ a b Claesson, S.; Pedersen, K. O. (1972). "The Svedberg 1884-1971".  
  3. ^ "The Svedberg Biography". Nobelprize. Nobel Media AB 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  4. ^ Kyle, R. A.; Shampo, M. A. (1997). "Theodor Svedberg and the ultracentrifuge". Mayo Clinic proceedings. Mayo Clinic 72 (9): 830.  
  5. ^ "TSL - The Svedberg Laboratory". 
  6. ^ "Library and Archive Catalogue". London: The Royal Society. Retrieved 2013-11-13. 

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