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Letter from Robert Mulliken to Linus Pauling. July 13, 1951.
Mullikan forwards to Pauling a form letter detailing the proposed itinerary and travel logistics for participants in the Shelter Island Conference on Quantum Mechanical Methods in Valence Bond Theory.


July 13, 1951

Members of the Conference on

Quantum-Mechanical Methods In Valence Theory

to be held Sept. 8-10, 1951 at

Ram's Head Inn, Shelter Island

Long Island, New York


Those listed below have accepted invitations to the Conference (a few others have not yet given a final answer):

C. A. Coulson

P.O. Lowdin

R. Daudel

H. Margenau

M. Kotani

J.E. Mayer

J.E. Lonnard-Jones

R.S. Mulliken

H.C. Longuet-Higgins

R.G. Parr

W. Moffitt

C.C.J. Roothaan

T.H. Berlin

J.C. Slater

B.H. Crawford, Jr.

C.W. Ufford

H. Eyring

J.H. Van Vleck

J.O. Hirschfelder

G.W. Wheland

G.E. Kimball

The following agenda are proposed tentatively:

Sat. A.M. Valence theory; general (o.g. bond energies, hybridization, d orbitals, etc), and calculations by valence bond methods.

Sat. P.M. Valence theory: calculations by molecular orbital methods (semi-empirical; self-consistent-field; best MO).

Sun, A.M. Better wave functions and energies for atoms and Molecules(variational methods, including configuration-interaction and rij methods).

Sun. P.M. Computational Methods for atomic and molecular energies (including analytic approximations, evaluation and tabulation, or approximation, of integrals).

Monday Intermolecular forces (both cohesive and repulsive); and misc.


Perhaps it should be emphasized again that the conference is intended for informal exchange of ideas, not for presentation of formal papers. Nevertheless, it will be good if everyone will think over, beforehand, what results, ideas, or questions he can present that are either novel, or controversial, or not widely or clearly enough understood. Such ideas can then be offered for presentation at appropriate sessions as brief semi-prepared talks which can serve as themes to start discussion. I should like to ask that those who intend to offer such talks send me a title and if possible a brief abstract for each proposed topic. I should appreciate information also about other specific topics which you are likely to feel like discussing during the informal question-and-argument phases of the sessions.

The ONR will print for us a program of the meeting including abstracts or titles of semi-prepared and informal talks, as well as abstracts of formal papers prepared for the post-meeting Report, (No doubt in some cases abstracts for formal papers will also serve for informal talks.) Such abstracts must roach [sic] me not later than Friday, August. 5 if they are to be included in the printed program! please send a title if you cannot make the deadline for an abstract.

After the conference the ONR will publish a Report including formal papers (about a dozen of these have so far been definitely promised), plus full accounts of the conference discussion, plus a general review of the accomplishments of the conference, prepared by the conference secretaries. Deadline for manuscripts of formal papers will be at the time of the conference. All manuscripts (including abstracts) should be typewritten, double spaced. All figures should be in black and white.

The group will assemble at the Ram's Head Inn for dinner near 8 o'clock on Friday, September 7. Those going by railroad will take the 4:42 P.M. (daylight saving) Long Island train from the Pennsylvania Station, New York, to Greenport, Long Island on Friday (change trains at Jamaica). The only later train leaves at 6;01 P.M., and reaches Greenport at 9:05 P.M. Returning to New York on Monday, Sept, 10 after the conference, the last train leaves Greenport at 3:00 P.M.

By car it is convenient to go by way of Greenport, from which the ferry to Shelter Island runs frequently.

Swimming will be available at Shelter Island,

Hotel room and meals of all conference members from Friday dinner through Monday lunch will be paid by ONR. A gratuity of about $4 to the hotel employees is customary (not provided for by ONR). For those whose travel to the conference is being assisted by ONR, final details as to reimbursement will be sent later. Tentatively, the plan is to refund at the time of the conference amounts equal to round-trip railroad fare (first-class railroad plus lower berth Pullman to New York, also per diem on travel time if funds permit, for over-night train distances) otherwise coach fare). However, this is subject to approval or modification by the Navy auditors. In any event, Pullman stubs, air tickets, or other receipts should be saved to be turned in.

The hotel accomodations [sic] are two in a room, with separate beds. On the accompanying sheet please indicate your choices for a roommate which will be followed as closely as possible. I would also appreciate any suggestions you may care to make about the agenda, especially an indication as to specific topics you would like to discuss.

Sincerely yours,

R. S. Mulliken


I am taking the 4:42 P.M. (daylight saving) Long Island R.R. train to Greenport, Friday, September 7, 1951.

Other plans. Please give in full.

My choices for roommate are:

Suggestions as to the agenda, and topics you would like to discuss:


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