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Hitchcock Foundation Lectures: "Chemical Bonds in Biology"
Hitchcock Foundation Lectures: "Chemical Bonds in Biology" January 17, 1983.
University of California, Berkeley.

Working with Delbrück on a Theory of the Gene. (1:27)

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Linus Pauling: So in 1940 the German physicist Pascual Jordan...who had worked with Born on matrix mechanics -- of course, knew physics, didn't know any chemistry, I'm sure -- wrote a paper in which he said that the gene duplicates itself because, according to quantum mechanics, two identical molecules interact with one another more strongly than a molecule and a non-identical molecule.

Max Delbrück met me on the campus and said that Jordan had published that paper, which I said was nonsense. So Delbrück and I published a paper saying that we had calculated the magnitude of the energy of interaction and it was just completely negligable -- this special quantum mechanical interaction between like molecules of the dimensions of molecules that are present in the human body. And that, in fact, the gene consists of two mutually-complementary strands, and the gene duplicates itself by the unfolding of a pair of mutually-complementary strands so that each can act as a template for the synthesis of the other.


Creator: Linus Pauling
Associated: Pascual Jordan, Max Born, Max Delbrück
Clip ID: 1983v.1-delbruck

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Creator: Linus Pauling
Associated: University of California, Berkeley

Date: January 17, 1983
Genre: sound
ID: 1983v.1
Copyright: More Information

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