The (Theodor) Svedberg (1884-1971) professor in physical chemistry at Uppsala University from 1912 to 1949 , was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1926 for his research on dispersed systems (colloidal solutions). He invented the ultracentrifuge, which was used in the discovery that proteins consist of macromolecules.

Towards the end of the 1930's The Svedberg and his colleagues built their first accelerator, a neutron generator. In 1945, a donation from the Gustaf Werner Corporation gave the opportunity to build a much larger accelerator, a synchrocyclotron. The Gustaf Werner Institute with the synchrocyclotron as the main research instrument was founded in 1949 and continued to act as a base for research in high-energy physics and radiation biology until 1986 when The Svedberg Laboratory was established.

1977 the Gustaf Werner cyclotron was shutdown for reconstruction.ssion.