Biography of Thomas Graham
Thomas Graham (1805-1869) was a University graduate who became one of the leading experimental chemists of his day and was the first President of the Chemical Society.
Born in Glasgow, Graham matriculated at the University in 1819, graduating MA in 1824 and staying on for two years to study Natural Philosophy and Chemistry. He studied Medicine at the University of Edinburgh and then taught Chemistry at the Portland Street Medical School and at the Glasgow Mechanics' Institution, before he was appointed Professor of Chemistry at Anderson's College in 1830. He made his mark as a chemist in 1831, demonstrating what became known as "Graham's Law" on the rate of diffusion of gas in a paper presented to the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
In 1837 Graham was appointed Professor of Chemistry at University College, London. He acted as an adviser to the Government on matters relating to Chemistry; continued to lead ground-breaking research in Physical Chemistry, and lectured to large classes of students. In 1855 he became Master of the Mint. He was buried at Glasgow Cathedral.