Linus Pauling and The Nature of the Chemical Bond: A Documentary History Narrative  
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"Euphorious"
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He kept working for hours. Using the same basic approach, he found he could add more electrons to his calculations and derive the features of more and more complex molecules. The ability to hybridize the physicists' subshells into new orbitals opened the door to explaining the structure of a number of molecules, such as the bonding pattern found in certain cobalt and platinum compounds. One by one, under Pauling's pen, the physicists’ quantum mechanics was falling into line with what the chemists knew to be true.

"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," he remembered. "Solve one equation, get the answer, then 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."

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Audio Clip  Audio: New Theories in Structural Chemistry. 1977. (2:43) Transcript and More Information

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Audio Clip  Audio: The Joy of Discovery. 1977. (1:44) Transcript and More Information

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Video Clip  Video: Lecture 3, Part 5. 1957. (6:39) Transcript and More Information

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See Also: "Linus Pauling, Crusading Scientist." 1977.  Clip: Bond Breakthrough. (2:14)

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Picture
Studio portrait of Linus Pauling. 1930.


Page 1
Pastel drawing of Potassium Ferrocyanide. 1964.

"Even the formal justification of the electron-pair bond in the simplest cases...requires a formidable array of symbols and equations."

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