Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Life of Thomas Graham
Thomas Graham (December 21, 1805 – September 16, 1869) was born in Glasgow, Scotland. A successful textile manufacturer, Graham's father wished for his son to enter into the Church of Scotland. Instead, defying his father's wishes, Graham became a student of the University of Glasgow in 1819. Here, Graham developed a strong interest in chemistry, and left the University after receiving his M.A. in 1826. He would later become a professor of chemistry at numerous colleges, including the Royal College of Science and Technology and the University of London. Graham also would founded the Chemical Society of London in 1841. Graham's final post was that known as the Master of the Mint, where he would stay for 15 years until his death.
Contributions to the Scientific Community
Graham's two most known contributions are his studies on the diffusion of gases, known as "Graham's Law". His discovery of the medical method known as dialysis, which is used in many medical faculties today, was the result of some of Graham's study of colloids. This study resulted in his ability to separate colloids and crytalloids using a so-called "dialyzer", the precursor of today's dialysis machine. This study of colloids would result in the scientific branch of research known as colloidal chemistry, of which he is known as the founder.
- Royal Medal of the Royal Society (Given in 1837)
- Copley Medal of the Royal Society (Given in 1862)
- Prix Jecker of the Paris Academy of Sciences (Given in 1862)
- Royal Medal of the Royal Society (Given again in 1863)
- (Unofficial Honor) A statue of Graham given to Glasgow for his works ("Given" in 1872)
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