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Letter from Samuel Goudsmit to Linus Pauling. November 21, 1927.
Goudsmit writes to grant his permission for Pauling to translate Goudsmit's thesis, and to update Pauling on his research and personal life


Ann Arbor, Nov. 21, 1927

Dear Linus:-

Many things for your reprint and especially for your letter. I shall first of all answer your most important question. I am really awfully glad that you want to translate my theses. First because it is YOU and secondly because I think we can make a nice monograph out of it.

In New York we found Oppenheimer, who was an excellent guide for us. He had already an Hotel for us, so we did not go to the Prince George. In two days and a half he showed us as much of New York as possible, thus I had not time even to think on Physics, though I thought on you. We did not go afterwards to the Prince George, thus I never got your note. You know that we like big cities extremely much, thus we enjoyed New York especially and felt there quite at home in those very few days. We hope to go back there as soon as possible.

Here in Ann Arbor too we like it very well. The first few weeks were difficult, due to the very different living conditions. But now we feel quite at home here, because the people here are all very nice to us and help us through all our beginner difficulties.

My work is not so easy as yours. I have an undergraduate quiz section in elementary physics for sophomore engineers. It are three hours a week, but it does not take very much time. It just makes me get up early. I cannot help that I must confess you that I think those engineers to be extremely stupid . Most of them don't know any algebra an many even don't know arithmetic!! Only four our of twenty five are pretty good. Now, I think you know that yourself still better than I do.

Then I am doing a little bit of research work in Termzoology with two students. Only one of them is not so bad. Next month I hope to annexate a good one, who is now working with Laporte.

I give here a lecture on spectral theory, what they seem to like very much, four hours each week. (How is it possible to quatsch four hours a week on this stuff. The visitors must be totally dried out at the end of the semester!) This lecture contains just the things I have written in my dissertattion, thus I know now exactly, what is wrong in that book and what may be useful. I lecture very slowly and try to explain all details as clear as possible. Randall himself and Sawyer visit this lecture too, thus you comprend that I try to do it as good as I can.

This lecture now has learned me exactly, which parts of termzoology are difficult to understand for beginners. Therefor I think that it will be necessary to rewrite my theses for the greater part. You know, that I had to write the whole book during the short time that I was in Copenhagen. That also made, that it is not as good as it ought to be. You will find especially, that the paragraphs themselfs often are clear enough, but that they are not arranged in the right order. It also was a mistake, that I had not divided the book into chapters. The beginning was written more in detail than the end, for with the last part I was in a hurry to get it ready in time. Thus especially the second half has to be expanded.

We further must introduce some more things. I forgot for instance to tell something about the Starkeffect. And as I have written already, the end is too compact and does not contain enough. I have only one page about Roentgenspectra.

In the mean time there have appeared also some new things. I should like to tell also a few works about that Bismuth nucleus for instance. And, just three days ago ......... I solved completely our Slater mystery we were working on in Copenhagen. You know, that problem with all those vectors and why the Roentgendoublets obey the relativity formula and why some complicated multiplets do to. Do you remember?

Σ a1 lisi cos (lisi) = ????.

I solved it in a quite other way than we tried to do it in Copenhagen, and I do not understand, why I did not find it already two years ago. It opens a totally new field of the zoology and seems to be very fruchtbar = fertile???.

I should like to have you here and discuss it with you. I enjoyed so very much to work with you damals in Kjobenhavn. I will write it down within a few days an then send the manuscript to you with some extra explanations. I have no time now to write it in this letter.

I have not very much worked on Bismuth. I should not advise you to work on it fathers, to explain those intensity anomalies in the Zeemaneffect. I think it will be more difficult than useful at the present moment. I have convinced myself, that those anomalies must be mainly due to deviations from the interval rule and not from the fact that the field is not strong enough to give a complete Paschen-Back effect. This was also the idea of Bohr, but I did not believe it at that time. This result means however that it is of no use to try any calculations on it. On the other hand the problem of the absolute magnitudes of those hyper finestructures is still very interesting, but I have not yet advanced with it. I expect new measurements from Back in a few weeks. Oh, how far away is Tuebingen!!

Again on the dissertation. I have one very great wish; I should like that it will be done as quick as possible. I know it can be done within half a year.

I propose that I shall write the new things and those of which I think that have to be expanded. I think a more complete introduction is necessary. Can you write that? For you, there exist however no restrictions. You may change and drop what you like. You know better what is wanted than I. I shall especially pay attention the parts of which I know that they are very bad in my theses.

I am sure we shall agree about all such matters as the payment. Have you any idea of the order of magnitude? X = X

Now, Linus, you see that I was very glad with your letter. How is Mrs. Pauling and how did you find little Linus back? My wife likes it here very much too, I think Mrs. Pauling will enjoy that we like her country and we haven't yet even seen California!!!

Please answer soon and start soon. Please remember me to Prof. Millikan, whenever you see him. I don't think he will recognize me. Remember me also to other spetroscopists in Pasadena and to the movie stars.

With kindest greetings from us both to your three


Sam Goudsmit

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