Richard L.M. Synge

Facts

Richard Laurence Millington Synge

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Richard Laurence Millington Synge
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1952

Born: 28 October 1914, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Died: 18 August 1994, Norwich, United Kingdom

Affiliation at the time of the award: Rowett Research Institute, Bucksburn (Scotland), United Kingdom

Prize motivation: “for their invention of partition chromatography”

Prize share: 1/2

Work

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 Richard Synge and Archer Martin 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.

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