Thomas Graham, Scottish chemist

Thomas Graham, Scottish chemist

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Credit: CHEMICAL HERITAGE FOUNDATION/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Thomas Graham (1805-1869), Scottish chemist. Graham was born in Glasgow to a wealthy textile manufacturer. Instead of joining the clergy as his father wished, Graham attended the University of Glasgow and studied chemistry. His studies on the diffusion of gases resulted in Graham's Law (the rate of effusion of a gas is inversely proportional to the square root of its molar mass). He founded the study of colloids, and showed they could be separated by a process of dialysis. His dialyzer was the precursor to today's dialysis machines, crucial to the management of kidney failure. He was elected fellow of the Royal Society in 1836.

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