Graham Prize

Thomas Graham (21.12.1805 - 11.9.1869) was a Scottish physicist, who investigated many types of colloidal systems. From 1826 on he studied the diffusion of gases and formulated the famous Graham's law of effusion. Later on he explored the structures of phosphates and arsenates. The chemical compound sodium polyphosphate is known until today as "Graham's Salt". During his extensive studies of dialysis Thomas Graham noticed that some substances diffused quite quickly through membranes and formed crystals when dried (crystalloids). Other chemical compounds, however, diffused only very slowly and did not form crystals in a dry state. The latter ones were named "colloids" from Greek "κόλλα” (glue) by Graham. He also introduced the terms sol and gel. In 1837 Thomas Graham left the Royal College of Science and Technology in Glasgow and was appointed Full Professor of Chemistry at University College, London. In 1841 he became the first president of the Chemical Society of London.


The Graham Prize can be awarded by the Colloid Society for outstanding accomplishments in the field of colloid science in a national or international context as well as for international scientific cooperation in colloid science and neighboring disciplines. The prize consists of a certificate and a memorial coin.


Laureates since 1926

1926 Wolfgang Ostwald, Leipzig

1969 Hans Erbring, Bensberg

1975 H. W. Kohlschütter, Darmstadt

1985 Egon Matijević, Potsdam, N. Y. (USA)

1995 Hans Lyklema, Wageningen (NL)

1997 Armin Weiß, München

2001 Milan Schwuger, Jülich

2013 Thomas Zemb, Montepellier (FR)

2019 Michal Borkovec, Genf (CH)