Thomas Graham (chemist)

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Thomas Graham FRS (21 December 1805 – 16 September 1869) was a nineteenth-century Scottish chemist who is best-remembered today for his pioneering work in dialysis and the diffusion of gases.


Life and work

Graham was born in Glasgow, Scotland. Graham's father was a successful textile manufacturer, and wanted his son to enter into the Church of Scotland. Instead, defying his father's wishes, Graham became a student at the University of Glasgow in 1819. There he developed a strong interest in chemistry, and left the University after receiving his M.A. in 1826. He later became a professor of chemistry at numerous colleges, including the Royal College of Science and Technology and the University of London.

Graham also founded the Chemical Society of London in 1841. In 1866, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

His final position was as the Master of the Mint, where he stayed for 15 years until his death. He was the last person to hold that position.

Scientific work

Thomas Graham is best known for two things:

Honours, activities, and recognition

  • Fellow of the Royal Society (1836)
  • First President of the Chemical Society of London (1841)
  • Royal Medal of the Royal Society (1837 and 1863)
  • Copley Medal of the Royal Society (1862)
  • Prix Jecker of the Paris Academy of Sciences (1862)
  • (Unofficial Honour) Statue of Graham in Glasgow ("given" in 1872)
  • The University of Strathclyde, where Graham worked at one of its precursor institutions, has named the building housing the chemistry department after him.
  • The headquarters of the Royal Society of Chemistry in Cambridge, UK is the Thomas Graham House.

See also

External links

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