The (Theodor) Svedberg
The (Theodor) Svedberg (1884–1971) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1926 “for his work on disperse systems”.
The Svedberg was Professor of Physical Chemistry 1912–1949 at Uppsala University and later director of the Gustaf Werner Institute for Nuclear Chemistry at the University, since 1986 renamed The Svedberg laboratory.
The Svedberg was primarily interested in colloids (particles with a size of between 1 and 100 nanometres, for example proteins) and macro-molecular solutions. In his doctoral thesis from 1908 Svedberg described a new method for producing colloidal particles. He continued to study the physical properties of colloids, such as diffusion, light absorption and sedimentation.
For his studies of sedimentation, Svedberg constructed his ultracentrifuge, with which he could study large molecules in solution, such as proteins and carbohydrates. He could also use it to prove that proteins were a kind of macro molecules, which gave biochemistry a completely new starting point and paved the way for molecular biology. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1926 for his discoveries regarding disperse systems, i.e. solutions of molecules of very different sizes, such as butter or cream.
The Svedberg and Uppsala University today
The Departments of Chemistry
Biochemistry has a long history at Uppsala University, with roots in the research that was founded by Nobel Prize Laureates The Svedberg and Arne Tiselius. At the departments of chemistry internationally prominent biochemical research is still being conducted, but in new areas. It is characterised by both high scientific value and by many different potential applications, for instance in drug development and targeted development of proteins.
The Svedberg Laboratory
Accelerator based research and development has been conducted at the The Svedberg Laboratory since the early 1950s. In 2016 the The Svedberg Laboratory was closed and became part of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, with the task of decommissioning the particle accelerator.
Alvin – platform for digital collections and digitised cultural heritage
The University Library has a platform for digital collections and digitised cultural heritage, Alvin. In this database you can find information and numerous photos that relate to The Svedberg.