Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.
Archer John Porter Martin
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1952
Born: 1 March 1910, London, United Kingdom
Died: 28 July 2002, Llangarron, United Kingdom
Affiliation at the time of the award: National Institute for Medical Research, London, United Kingdom
Prize motivation: "for their invention of partition chromatography."
Prize share: 1/2
When a drop of a liquid containing a mixture of various substances is placed on paper, the liquid begins to spread out on the paper. The various substances in the mixture spread at different speeds, however, which gives rise to marks on the paper with different colors. In the 1940s Archer Martin and Richard Synge used this and similar phenomena in gas mixtures, for example, to develop different types of chromatography - methods for separating substances in mixtures and for determining the composition of mixtures.