Linus Pauling: And the Chemistry of Life (Oxford Portraits by Tom Hager

By Tom Hager

Linus Pauling was once crucial chemist, and arguably an important American scientist, of the twentieth century. From his description of the chemical bond to his discovery of the reason for sickle-cell anemia and his groundbreaking paintings with diet C, his paintings leaped over the bounds of disciplines, together with chemistry, physics, biology, immunology, nuclear physics, and extra. Now during this fascinating new biography, acclaimed technological know-how author Tom Hager brings Pauling's wide selection of medical accomplishments vividly to existence whereas additionally laying off gentle on Pauling's actions outdoor the medical realm. He indicates how Pauling used his medical popularity to assist develop political motives, fairly the conflict opposed to the unfold of nuclear guns throughout the Nineteen Fifties. regardless of the difficulty his political activism triggered him, he remained unmoved in his commitment to creating the realm a more secure position. His perseverance was once rewarded with a Nobel Peace Prize in 1963, making him the single individual in heritage to win unshared Nobels. In Linus Pauling, we examine a real a systematic massive: innovative, daring, and unafraid of an individual and something.

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Extra resources for Linus Pauling: And the Chemistry of Life (Oxford Portraits in Science)

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Pauling wept as he read it. But he buried what grief he had in work. Sommerfeld was teaching him the mathematics he needed to succeed with Schrodinger's wave equation, and he began applying this method successfully to problems. A great breakthrough came when he used wave mechanics to explain some of the basic properties, including the size, of large atoms with many electrons. This important step forward won him Sommerfeld's admiration and publication in the prestigious British journal Proceedings of the Royal Society.

With these basic shapes in mind, he thought next about how the blocks fit together and what determined whether they shared a side or only a point or an entire face. He began doodling pictures and then, with Ava Helen's help, started folding the threedimensional shapes out of paper and sewing them together. These paper models helped him tremendously: He could now see what fit and what did not, and try new combinations again and again. He made his models according to a specific set of rules. The sizes of the atoms and ions involved had to match known values; the lengths and positions of bonds between ions had to correlate reasonably with what was already known from the X-ray crystallography of simpler molecules; and the positive and negative electrical charges of neighboring ions had to balance out.

Some crystals, including those in many metals, are too small to see with the naked eye. Others, such as rock salt or quartz, can grow very large. In 1912, a German physicist discovered that by shooting a beam of X rays at crystals and then analyzing the way the X rays scattered—their "diffraction pattern"— researchers could painstakingly work out, at least for simple crystals, the distances and angles between the atoms that comprised them. This seemed incredible. The finest microscopes of the day could barely make out the bits and pieces inside living 31 Linus Pauling cells, but in one leap X-ray crystallography made it possible to pin down the positions of atoms 10,000 times smaller.

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