Linus Pauling and The Nature of the Chemical Bond: A Documentary History Narrative  
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Pauling arrived in Ithaca with his wife, Ava Helen, at the end of September 1936. It was the beginning of a four-month stay as the Baker Lecturer. They left their four young children in the care of friends, and spent their stay attending receptions, dinner parties, and making occasional forays into New York City to see the latest musicals or go dancing.

Pauling also worked hard preparing a detailed set of lecture notes for his presentations. But he had more in mind. He wanted the Baker series book that would result from the lectures to be more than the standard replay of what had been said at the podium. Freed from the daily chores of chairmanship at Caltech, he had plenty of time to expand his notes into a major project he had wanted to complete for some time: a summary of all his ideas on the chemical bond. The Baker Lectures would be a starting point, but the resulting books would be more far-reaching, more comprehensive. He worked on the manuscript, writing it by hand, through the months of their stay at Cornell, then expanded it through 1938 after returning to Caltech.

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Audio Clip  Audio: Understanding the Chemical Bond. January 19, 1996. (1:26) Transcript and More Information

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See Also: Letter from Robert Millikan to Linus Pauling. December 15, 1936. 

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Ava Helen and Linus Pauling, in Madison, Wisconsin. July 1939.


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"Outline of the George Fischer Baker Lectureship, Cornell University." 1937 - 1938.

"I think my work on the chemical bond probably has been most important in changing the activities of chemists all over the world -- changing their ways of thinking and affecting the progress of the science."

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