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Portrait of Michel Tswett, Russian botanist

Portrait of Michel Tswett, Russian botanist

H420/0086

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Michel Tswett (1872-1919), Russian botanist and developer of the technique of chromatography. Tswett was born Mikhail Tsvet, to a Russian father and Italian mother. He was educated in Switzerland and taught in Poland and Russia. His main work involved the study of plant pigments. In 1903, during this research, he developed the techniques of column chromatography. He passed solutions of leaf colourants dissolved in light petroleum through a column of powdered chalk. The distinct colour bands formed by the different pigments could then be removed from the column with a knife for analysis.

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