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Thomas Graham

Strathclyde University Archives

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Thomas Graham

Thomas Graham, (1805-1869), Professor of Chemistry at Anderson's University, 1830-1837. From a portrait by John Graham (later known as Graham Gilbert) painted in 1837.

Born in Glasgow, Graham was destined to be a Church of Scotland minister until he became interested in chemistry during his studies at the University of Glasgow. After a couple of years of teaching, he was appointed to the first Chair of Chemistry at Anderson's University. He pioneered the use of laboratory practical classes for all his students. The twenty-nine research papers produced during his time at the Andersonian provided the foundations of a national reputation.

Graham is often considered the father of colloid chemistry. His other major area of contribution was in the diffusion of gases. In 1833 Graham published an article, On the Law of the Diffusion of Gases, in which he explicitly stated what is now known as Graham's Law of Gaseous Diffusion.

Graham went on to become Professor of Chemistry at University College London, and President of the Chemical Society of London. He is commemorated by a statue in George Square, and by the Thomas Graham Building at the University of Strathclyde.

Reference: P4/24/1

Reproduced with the permission of Strathclyde University Archives

Anderson's University, Chemical Society of London, chemistry, chemists, colloid chemistry, Grahams's Law of Gaseous Diffusion, laboratories, portraits, professors, statues, Thomas Graham Building, University of Strathclyde

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