Biography of Linus Pauling

Linus Pauling was a scientist, chemist, biochemist and peace fighter, widely known for his work in the field of quantum chemistry and molecular biology.

Childhood and early years

Linus Pauling was born in Portland, Oregon, in the family of baker Herman Henry William Pauling and his wife Lucy Isabel Darling. The family huddled in a modest one-room apartment.

After the birth of Linus’ sister, Pauline, the family moved to Salem, Oregon, where the father receives a job as a seller in the pharmaceutical company Skidmore.

As a child Linus enthusiastically reads books, is keenly interested in chemistry and even, with the help of an older friend, equips his own laboratory.

Before entering the University of Oregon in 1917, the boy takes on any job: he works in a grocery store, becomes an assistant to a mechanic, and opens a photo lab with his friends – and all in order to save money for himself for education.

In 1922, Pauling was graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in chemistry and then entered the California Institute of Technology.

During his studies he publishes seven scientific articles on the study of the crystal lattice of minerals and in 1925, brilliantly defending his thesis, receives a doctorate in philosophy.

Scientific activity

In 1927, Pauling became a senior teacher of theoretical chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, and for five years in office, he would publish fifty articles and open the “rules of Pauling.”

In 1930, the scientist travels to Europe to study the practical application of electron diffraction, and upon returning home, he constructs his own device, called the “electronograph”, to study the molecular structure of chemicals.

In 1932 Pauling published an article on the theory of hybridization of atomic orbitals, in which he analyzed the quadrivalence of a carbon atom.

This scientist represents the theory of electronegativity and forms the “Pauling electronegativity scale”, with which one can approximately estimate the magnitude of the polarity of bonds in a molecule. During the Second World War, Pauling is not taken almost for any military project and categorically refuses to participate in the Manhattan project – the research and development that led to the creation of the first atomic bomb.

In 1946, he became a member of the Extraordinary Committee of Nuclear Physicists, an organization that warned the international community of all the horrors of the probable consequences of the invention of nuclear weapons.

In 1949, the scientific journal “Science” published an article “Sickle Cell Cell Anemia, Molecular Disease,” which Pauling co-authored with his colleagues.

In 1955, together with other representatives of the academic community – Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell – Pauling signed the “Russell-Einstein Manifesto”, calling for the search for peaceful ways to resolve conflicts and stop the development of nuclear weapons.

In 1958, Pauling took part in the “Study of the milk tooth”, clearly demonstrating the danger of conducting ground tests of nuclear weapons. In the same year, together with his wife, he submitted a petition to the UN on the cessation of nuclear testing, under which 11,000 scientists signed.

In the 1960s, Mr. Pauling led an active campaign against the US entry into the Vietnam War, making numerous speeches, publishing protest letters and filing petitions.

In 1965 he... wrote a research article “Compact spherical model of the atomic nucleus,” which will appear in a number of authoritative scientific publications, including in the journal Science.

In 1970, the book “Vitamin C and the Common Cold” is published, describing the benefits of using this vitamin.

At the same time, Pauling continues to actively fight for peace throughout the world, and in 1974 he founded the “International League of Humanists” – an organization whose main goal was the promotion of peace and the protection of human rights.

In 1986, the scientist wrote another work on the therapeutic properties of vitamin C, which was published under the title “How to live longer and feel better.” The book advocated the idea of ​​using a vitamin in a large dosage.

Basic work

Pauling’s work “On the nature of chemical bonds,” which was published in 1939, is one of the most important books in the field of chemistry, to which even today influential journals and authors of scientific articles are quoted and quoted.

It was he who for the first time expressed the idea of ​​the existence of a “molecular disease”, through which a whole series of similar hereditary disorders was discovered and studied, as well as the beginning of today’s studies of the “human genome”.

Awards and achievements

In 1926 Pauling was honored to become a member of the Guggenheim society, which gives him the opportunity to learn from the German physicist Arnold Sommerfeld in Munich, the Danish physicist Niels Bohr in Copenhagen and the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in Zurich.

In 1931, the American Chemical Society awarded him the Langmuir Prize for a significant contribution to “fundamental science” by young talents under the age of 30 years.

In 1954, Linus Pauling was awarded the Nobel Prize for “investigating the nature of the chemical bond and its application for understanding the structure of complex substances.” In 1962, the scientist receives a second Nobel Prize, this time for “participating in the peace movement.”

In 1970 Pauling was awarded the International Lenin Peace Prize.

Personal life and heritage

June 17, 1923 Pauling marries Ave Helen Miller, and their union will last until her death in 1981. The family appears three twin sons.

Despite the fact that Linus grew up in the family of adherents of Lutheranism, at a conscious age he becomes a Unitarian church, and two years before his death he even proclaims himself an atheist.

At the age of 40, Pauling is diagnosed with a Brait disease – kidney disease.

At the age of 93, a scientist dies of prostate cancer in his own home in Big Sur, California.

March 6, 2008 in his honor the US Postal Service issues a 41-cent mark.

Interesting Facts

Pauling – the only person who received two Nobel Prizes alone, without sharing them with anyone.

The future Nobel laureate at an early age, earning money, wherever he could, saved 200 dollars to pay for his education. However, most of these savings, earned by hard work, he spent on a girl named Irene, whom he fell in love with while studying at the university.

To the outstanding scientist, Nobel Prize winner Lynus Pauling, the US government denied permission to travel to London, because of his public speeches on the dangers of nuclear weapons.


Biography of Linus Pauling