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Letter from Linus Pauling to William Seifriz. April 12, 1946.
Pauling discusses the nature of the Heitler-London bond and informs Seifriz that he would be willing to write an article for the proposed Journal of Protoplasm.



April 12, 1946

Dr. William Seifriz

Botanical Laboratory

University of Pennsylvania

38th Street and Woodland Avenue

Philadelphia 4, Pennsylvania

Dear Selfriz:

It is a pleasure to hear from you once in a while, and perhaps some time I shall be able to write an article for the planned JOURNAL OF PROTOPLASM.

I am very much interested in the structure of proto-plasm and I wish that I knew more about the facts which have been gathered that are pertinent.

It is very easy to answer your question, about the Heitler-London bond. This bond is indeed very important in biology, and also in chemistry—it is, in fact, nothing more than the shared-electron-pair bond of Gilbert Newton Lewis, which is itself, of course, the structural feature which is usually represented by the dash of the organic chemist. I have not read Schroedinger's little book, but I am not surprised that he is somewhat confused by these points, because he has never paid very much attention to chemistry.

By the way, I do not think that you should speak of the "Pauling hydrogen bond". The hydrogen bond has a considerable history during the decade or so before 1928, when I became especially interested in it.

Sincerely yours,

LP:par Linus Pauling

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