Chromatography is an important biophysical technique that enables the separation, identification, and purification of the components of a mixture for qualitative and quantitative analysis. The Russian botanist Mikhail Tswett coined the term chromatography in 1906. The first analytical use of chromatography was described by James and Martin in 1952, for the use of gas chromatography for the analysis of fatty acid mixtures. A wide range of chromatographic procedures makes use of differences in size, binding affinities, charge, and other properties to separate materials. It is a powerful separation tool that is used in all branches of science and is often the only means of separating components from complex mixtures.