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Letter from Linus Pauling to Irvin Stewart. September 19, 1939.
Pauling recommends the construction of Buerger's proposed instrument for making Fourier syntheses via an optical method. He explains that the instrument will not allow for precise calculations, but will provide a means for making approximations.


September 19, 1939

Dr. Irvin Stewart, Director

Committee on Scientific Aids to Learning

21 East 42nd Street

New York, New York

Dear Dr. Stewart:

I am glad to give you my opinion of the program suggested by Dr. M.J. Buerger.

Dr. Buerger is a good research man, and he has shown interest in the development of x-ray apparatus as well as in its application in structure determinations.

The proposed instrument for making Fourier syntheses by an optical method, is, I think, well worth construction and trial. After the publication of Bragg's note Dr. Hughes of this Laboratory suggested a device somewhat similar to Buerger's and at that time we discussed the possible usefulness of the instrument. I do not think that it will by itself be accurate enough for any modern crystal structure work, and it will without doubt fall far below the demands of accuracy which we are making in our amino acid and protein program. The optical device may, however, be very useful as a rapid first step in investigations, to be followed by a more refined treatment. I accordingly recommend that Dr. Buerger's project be given support.

Sincerely yours,

Linus Pauling


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