Scientists » Biochemists » LINUS PAULING
|Full name||: Linus Pauling|
|Alias||: Linus Pauling|
|Father||: Herman Henry William Pauling (1876–1910)|
|Mother||: Lucy Isabelle|
|Wife||: Ava Helen Pauling|
|Children||: Linus Jr., Peter Edward Crellin), (Linda)|
|Education||: Oregon State University ( known then as Oregon Agricultural College) Washington High School|
|Activists||: Biochemists , Chemists|
One of the greatest scientists of the 20th century and the most influential chemist in history, Linus Pauling is the only person to have been awarded two unshared Nobel Prizes. Popularly referred to as the ‘founding father of molecular chemistry’, Pauling’s findings in the field of biological sciences and medicine have provided the foundation for modern biotechnology. As a man of diverse accomplishments, he passionately spoke out against the development of nuclear weapons and the dangers associated with it, while he continued to pursue an amazing array of scientific interests. He was a great orator and gave numerous public speeches on the need for abandoning nuclear testing and was often invited as a speaker at conferences, political rallies, commencements, and media programs. This multi-faceted genius had a zest for communication and the ability to explain complex medical and scientific information in simple terms that a lay man could comprehend. He authored numerous articles and books on various topics like peace activism, health and science. Some of his well-known books include ‘Vitamin C and the Common Cold’, ‘Cancer and Vitamin C’ and ‘How to Live Longer and Feel Better’. To learn more interesting facts about his personal life, peace advocacy campaigns and other scientific achievements, scroll down and continue to read this biography.
In 1927, he became the assistant professor of ‘theoretical chemistry’ at the California Institute of Technology and during his five year stay at the institute he published fifty papers and invented the ‘Pauling’s rules’.
In 1930, he travelled to Europe to study the use of ‘electrons’ in ‘diffraction’ and after he returned, he built an instrument called the ‘electron diffraction instrument’ to study the ‘molecular structure’ of chemical substances.
In 1932, he published a paper on the concept of ‘hybridization of atomic orbitals’ and analysed the ‘tetravalency’ of the ‘carbon atom’.
He introduced the concept of ‘electronegativity’ and established the ‘Pauling Electronegativity Scale’, a tool to predict ‘bond between atoms and molecules’.
During the World War II, he did not work on any military projects and refused to work in the ‘Manhattan Project’, a research and development project that produced the first atomic bomb.
In 1946, he became a member of the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists, an organisation that warned the public of the hazards associated with the development of nuclear weapons.
In 1949, along with fellow scientists he authored a paper titled ‘Sickle Cell Anemia, a Molecular Disease’, which was published in the journal ‘Science’.
In 1955, along with fellow colleagues from the scientific community like Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell he signed the ‘Russell-Einstein Manifesto’, an appeal to seek peaceful resolutions and put an end to nuclear weapons.
In 1958, he participated in the ‘Baby Tooth Survey’, that demonstrated the dangers of above-ground nuclear testing. The same year, along with his wife he presented the United Nations a petition signed by 11,000 scientists to end nuclear weapon testing.
During the 1960s, he opposed America’s involvement in the Vietnam War, for this cause he made many public speeches and signed protest letters and petitions.
In 1965, he authored a research paper titled, ‘Close-Packed Spheron Model of the atomic nucleus’, which was published in some of the well-respected journals including ‘Science’.
In 1970, his book titled ‘Vitamin C and the Common Cold’ was published. The book was about the benefits of the intake of Vitamin C.
He continued to work as a peace activist and in 1974, co-founded the ‘International League of Humanists’, an organisation with the primary objective of promoting peace and human rights.
In 1986, he authored another edition on the health benefits of vitamin C titled, ‘How to live longer and Feel Better’. The book advocated the intake of high dosages of Vitamin C’.
Published in 1939, his book ‘The Nature of the Chemical Bond’ is one of the most influential books ever published in the field of chemistry and it has been cited as a reference in many important journals and scientific papers.
He founded the concept of ‘molecular disease’; these discoveries inspired research work on many more such disorders and is the basis of today’s ‘human genome research’.
Linus Pauling was born in Portland, Oregon to Herman Henry William Pauling, a bread salesman and Lucy Isabelle ‘Belle’ Darling. The family lived together in a humble one room apartment.
After his sister Pauline was born, the family moved to Salem, Oregon as his father took up a salesman job at the Skidmore Drug Company.
During his younger days he was a voracious reader and was also fascinated by chemistry experiments, he even set up a laboratory with the help of an older friend.
Before he attended Oregon State University in 1917, he took a number of odd jobs—worked part time at a grocery store, as an apprentice machinist and also set up a photography laboratory with his friends—in order to earn enough money to fund his college expenses.
In 1922, he graduated from the Oregon State University with a degree in chemical engineering, after which he attended the California Institute of Technology.
While he was pursuing his graduate studies, he published seven papers on the crystal structure of minerals and in 1925 he received a Ph.D. in ‘physical chemistry and mathematical physics, summa cum laude’
On June 17, 1923 he married Ava Helen Miller and the marriage lasted until her death in 1981. The couple had three sons together.
Even though he was raised as a member of the Lutheran Church, he later became a member of the Unitarian Church and declared that he was an atheist, two years before his death.
At the age of forty, he was diagnosed with Bright's disease, a kidney disease.
At the age of 93, he died of prostate cancer at his home in Big Sur, California.
On March 6, 2008, a 41 cent stamp was released in his honour by the United States Postal Service.
In 1926, he was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship to study under German physicist Arnold Sommerfeld in Munich, Danish physicist Niels Bohr in Copenhagen and Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in Zürich.
In 1931, he was awarded the Langmuir Prize by the American Chemical Society for the most significant work in ‘pure science’ by a person 30 years of age or younger.
In 1954, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his research into the nature of the chemical bond and its application to the elucidation of the structure of complex substances.".
In 1962, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his ‘peace activism’.
In 1970, he was awarded the International Lenin Peace Prize.