"I think that it is very interesting that one can see the [psi] functions of Schrödinger’s
wave mechanics by means of the X-ray study of crystals. This work should be continued
experimentally. I believe that much information regarding the nature of the chemical
bond will result from it."
Linus Pauling. Letter to A. A. Noyes. 1926.
"...[T]o awaken an interest in chemistry in students we mustn’t make the courses consist
entirely of explanations, forgetting to mention what there is to be explained."
Linus Pauling. Letter to A. A. Noyes. November 18, 1930.
"I consider that the field of work in which Dr. Pauling is engaged, namely the study
of the chemical bond and of valence from the standpoint of modern physics, is the
most important line of research in theoretical chemistry today; and I venture to believe
that there is no one in the world who in the same degree has chemical background and
at the same time has the physical knowledge, mathematical power, and originality required
for the handling of this problem."
A. A. Noyes. Letter to William Foster. October 15, 1931.
"When I was in Europe...I received a letter from A. A. Noyes saying that he was writing
to offer me an appointment as 'Assistant Professor of Theoretical Chemistry and Mathematical
Physics,' and I accepted it, but by the time that I got here it had been changed to
'Assistant Professor of Theoretical Chemistry' . . . I don't know what happened with
the physics, whether Millikan objected to my having a joint appointment or whether
Noyes decided . . . [Noyes] was preventing me from going to Berkeley, and he may have
decided that he didn't want me associated with the physics department in this way,
that perhaps I would shift."
Linus Pauling. AHQP (Archive for the History of Quantum Physics), interview transcript part 2. Interview
by John Heilbron. March 27, 1964.
"In 1931 when my papers on the nature of the chemical bond appeared, Professor Noyes,
who was chairman of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, said that
I probably would get the Nobel Prize someday. Well, I thought, that's nice of the
old guy to say that, but I'm a little skeptical myself. And as the years went by,
I thought, I don't do the sort of work for which Nobel Prizes are given."
Linus Pauling. NOVA Interview. 1977.
Back to Quotes Index.