So, Mikhail Tsvet was trying to solve the separation problem of the green leaf pigments. He took a glass cylinder, filled it with chalk powder, and poured a little bit of the alcohol leaf extract on the top layer . The extract was brownish-green, and the top layer of chalk column also became the same color.

Then Mikhail Semyonovich started to drop by drop add pure alcohol to the top of the column. And with each coming drop the alcohol dissolved the pigments off the chalk particles and moved down the cylinder. As a result, in the glass cylinder filled with chalk there were uniformly colored bands of pure substances. It was beautiful. The bright-green band and the yellowish-green one were the two kinds of chlorophyll, and the yellow-orange one was from carotenoids.Tsvet Device

Tsvet named this picture – “chromatogram”. If you know Russian, it’s hard to hold your smile back: Tsvet (which also means “color”) – chromos, chromatogram – colorgram.

The method was so oddly simple, that the majority of contemporaries either did not accept this wonderful discovery, or, which was even sadder, sharply rose against its author. The silence lasted almost 20 years…