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Interview with Linus Pauling.
Interview with Linus Pauling. August 23, 1991.
Interview by Thomas Hager for use in "Force of Nature: The Life of Linus Pauling," (Simon & Schuster, 1995).

The Importance of Pauling's Powder Research. (2:32)

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Thomas Hager: You said that when you got your citation for your Presidential Medal of Merit-

Linus Pauling: Medal for Merit.

Thomas Hager: Yes, for Merit. The citation mentions some things, but you had said in an interview, that it did not mention the most important of your contributions because they were classified at the time, in terms of you wartime work. Is it possible for you to outline what those contributions were, now?

Linus Pauling: Paradowski says that I was in charge of fourteen different investigations, and someone connected with the War Department came to see me a few years ago...perhaps only three years ago...Duncan, I'm not sure that that is his name. I hadn't seen him since the war, but he said that my most important contribution - Corey, Verner and many others were involved in this work - was on the stability of double base powders, nitroglycerin and nitrocellulose powders. But we found a much better stabilizer than had been used, and this is used in all powders now. So, I didn't take out a patent on that. We set up a laboratory, an installation, for measuring the stability of the powders at elevated temperatures so that we could speed up decomposition, and carried out chromatographic analyses to find out what was happening to the stabilizers and other powder constituents. We sort of revolutionized powder chemistry by introducing chromatographic analysis.


Creator: Thomas Hager, Linus Pauling
Associated: Robert Paradowski, Robert Corey, Verner Schomaker
Clip ID: hager2.006.3-propellants

Full Work

Creator: Thomas Hager, Linus Pauling

Date: August 23, 1991
Genre: sound
ID: hager2.006.3
Copyright: More Information

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