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Letter from Linus Pauling to A.A. Noyes. March 21, 1929.
Pauling writes to detail his expectations for future support from Caltech.





March 21, 1929

Dear Dr. Noyes:

I wish to thank you very much for the use of your automobile on Sunday, and to tell you that I enjoyed having luncheon with you. I might have spared myself the not unadulterated pleasure of going to visit Dr. Millikan Sunday afternoon; for he asked if I would join other members of the faculty in giving an inspirational or emotional reading at the beginning of the assembly hour - this, together with the Lord's prayer, to replace religious exercises conducted by a minister. I couldn't do anything but refuse, but this I did with what grace and gentleness I could muster. I also said that I thought it might be possible to omit this service; but this seems hard to accomplish.

On returning from Pasadena I found that I had carried away from my talk with you a conception of the prospect for me at the Institute which was not sufficiently definite and detailed to be a satisfactory basis for my decision, and so I am writing in order to verify the remembered features as well as to ask for information regarding some points with have since occurred to me. In regard to my salary, I understood that I could expect my salary to increase rather regularly; whereas at Harvard it would probably be stationary for four or five years (here it is assumed that my productivity will justify this). In particular, I would receive $4500 during the coming year, and %4000 during the year after. If this is not what you suggested, or if I have omitted something, please tell me.

You also asked me what the Institute could do to help my research. I want an assistant to make calculations and do the routine X-ray work - ultimately I hope that the National Research Fund will provide him, but now I'd like the time of a graduate student. After a year or two I should like very much to have at my disposal a sufficient annual sum to keep a man for a year or two after his PhD work. Thus Sturdivant will probably have finished a problem in 1930 when he gets his degree; but I am hoping that his work will have been of such calibre as to justify keeping him while he extends his measurements to substances with shared electron bonds, which are of much more chemical interest than rock salt. After a year or two more some other man might replace Sturdivant at this X-ray work, and ultimately I hope that the Institute will add to the staff one of these men trained in crystal structure. And I hope that in a few years some students will come to work with me along theoretical lines.

In regard to undergraduate teaching, I prefer to give a standard course rather than some incidental ones. If I am to teach undergraduates, I should like ot know whether or not I could be associated with Dr. Bell and Beckman in giving the freshman course. I wouldn't want ot run it, but I would argue for a particular type of course, and try to make it successful. If I could teach the honor section during the second and third terms, having an assistant in the laboratory, I should hope ot excite interest among the students, and get acquainted with them as i did with the famous class of 1928.

I learned on Wednesday that I would not be given another Guggenheim fellowship. This means that new plans must be made for the summer of 1930. If I don't go to Manchester there are several problems to keep me busy; but still I think that the trip is worth while. Professor Bragg has written very enthusiastically about my coming; and I feel that we could very profitably work together by combining our methods of treating complex crystals and perhaps developing a still more powerful and general method. Last fall you said that perhaps the Institute would support such a period of work in England. Do you advice that I go? I want to be out of debt before starting on this trip, and I calculate that my salary will hardly suffice, on account of the enhanced expense of traveling, when it is not backed up by savings. I have profited so much be being in Berkeley (I have begun three new lines of work - one with Hogness and one with Padolsky) that the benefits of travel to other scientific centers seem greater than ever to me - but I have also learned that there is at least one stimulating place in America that I can go to.

I have been asked to give a lecture and one at Tacoma on my way East; but I think that I shall not take the three days this side trip would require. Perhaps it would give the Institute some advertising in the Northwest - if you think it worth while, let me know at once and I shall accept instead of refusing. I shall leave Berkeley on April 24th I think.

I hope that you have recovered from your attack of neuritis - despite your statement that it's worse in bed, I think you should rest there for a few days, and then wise well again. With the best wishes for a pleasant voyage through the canal, in which my wife joins me, I am

Yours sincerely,

Linus Pauling

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