All Documents and Media
|"Linus Pauling, Crusading Scientist." 1977.
Produced for NOVA by Robert Richter/WGBH-Boston.
Solving the Chemical Bond. (1:42)
Get the Flash Player to see this audio player.
Download Audio File (Mp3) File to Your Computer
Linus Pauling: You know I'd begun to think about the theory of the chemical bond very seriously
in 1926, '27, after quantum mechanics was discovered. And in 1928 I published a paper,
a preliminary paper and said that I would write more later on. I didn't write anything
more for three years because the problem turned out to be such a hard problem, the
mathematical problem, that I couldn't solve it and time went by. Finally in December
1930, one day I thought of a way to get around the mathematical difficulties, a simplification
which made it very easy to get results. And I was so excited and happy I think I stayed
up all night making, writing out, solving the equations which were so simple that
I could solve them in a few minutes. Solve one equation and get the answer and solve
another equation about the structure of octahedral complexes such as the ferrocyanide
ion in potassium ferrocyanide or square-planar complexes such as in tetrachloroplatinate
ion and various other problems. I just kept getting more and more euphorious as time
went by. And it didn't take me long to write a long paper about the nature of the
chemical bond, and that was a great experience.
ClipCreator: Linus Pauling
Clip ID: 1977v.66-solving
Full WorkCreator: Robert Richter, WGBH-Boston
Associated: Linus Pauling, Ava Helen Pauling, David Shoemaker, E. Bright Wilson, Jr., Frank Catchpool
Copyright: More Information