4 Feb, 2016 540 Chemistry

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the origins, development and uses of chromatography. In its basic form, it is familiar to generations of schoolchildren who put a spot of ink at the bottom of a strip of paper, dip it in water and then watch the pigments spread upwards, revealing their separate colours. Chemists in the 19th Century started to find new ways to separate mixtures and their work was taken further by Mikhail Tsvet, a Russian-Italian scientist who is often credited with inventing chromatography in 1900. The technique has become so widely used, it is now an integral part of testing the quality of air and water, the levels of drugs in athletes, in forensics and in the preparation of pharmaceuticals.

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  • Andrea Sella 3 episodes
    Professor of Chemistry at University College London
  • Apryll Stalcup No other episodes
    Professor of Chemical Sciences at Dublin City University
  • Leon Barron No other episodes
    Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science at King's College London

Reading list

  • Quantitative Chemical Analysis
    Daniel C. Harris (W. H. Freeman & Co Ltd, 2015) Google Books →
  • Introduction to Modern Liquid Chromatography
    Lloyd R. Snyder, Joseph J. Kirkland, John W. Dolan (Wiley, 2009) Google Books →
  • History of Analytical Chemistry
    Ferenc Szabadvary (CRC Press, 1993)

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Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. One of the big ideas in chemistry today is chromatography, a way of separating mixed-up substances to analyse them or extract something useful.