Beckman Instruments began producing centrifuges after their January 1, 1955 acquisition of industry leader, Specialized Instruments Corporation, or Spinco. With Spinco came the famous Model E Ultracentrifuge, which was developed in 1947 and was used for many important scientific discoveries of the 20th century, like the 1957 CalTech experiment that proved James Watson and Francis Crick’s theory on DNA replication.
The ultracentrifuge is a centrifuge optimized for spinning a rotor at very high speeds, capable of generating acceleration as high as 1,000,000 g (approx. 9 800 km/s²). There are two kinds of ultracentrifuges, the preparative and the analytical ultracentrifuge. Both classes of instruments find important uses in molecular biology, biochemistry, and polymer science. This analytical ultracentrifuge rotor is a black, oval-shaped device. The rotor has two holes, one to hold a sample cell and the other to hold a balance cell. The top of the rotor has a sharp needle, and the device is stabilized on a red plastic base.
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