"Todd says that he told Bragg that the amide group was planar, but apparently Bragg
did not understand what he said. I was fortunate in having a good understanding of
two fields, structural chemistry and x-ray diffraction. My recommendation to young
scientists is that they get a thorough knowledge of one field, and also some knowledge
of other fields of science."
Linus Pauling. "How My Interest in Proteins Developed." January 12, 1993.
"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.
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