"What I'm telling you now is that I was thinking of the alpha helix in hemoglobin,
and I refrained from saying anything to Max, not because I wanted to keep him from
having significant information, but because there's no use disturbing people about
something unless you feel happy with it yourself."
Linus Pauling. Interview with Horace Freeland Judson. December 23, 1975.
"It was one of those papers you publish mainly because you've done all that work."
Max Perutz. Interview with Horace Freeland Judson. January 31, 1976.
"When I saw the alpha-helix and saw what a beautiful, elegant structure it was, I
was thunderstruck and was furious with myself for not having built this, but on the
other hand, I wondered, was it really right? ... I realized that I had a horse hair
in a drawer. I set it up on the X-ray camera and gave it a two hour exposure, then
took the film to the dark room with my heart in my mouth, wondering what it showed,
and when I developed it, there was the 1.5 angstrom reflection which I had predicted
and which excluded all structures other than the alpha-helix. So on Monday morning
I stormed...into Bragg's office and showed him this, and Bragg said, 'Whatever made
you think of that?' And I said, 'Because I was so furious with myself for having
missed that beautiful structure.' To which Bragg replied coldly, 'I wish I had made
you angry earlier.'"
Max Perutz. BBC Interview 1997.