“Linus Pauling and the Nature of the Chemical Bond: A Documentary History”

New Website Launched Today by Oregon State University Libraries <http://osulibrary.oregonstate.edu/specialcollections/coll/pauling/bond/ index.html>

The story of one of the most important discoveries in modern science – and the basis for the most-cited scientific publication of the twentieth century – is given fresh life in a vast new website being launched today by the Oregon State University Libraries. “Linus Pauling and the Nature of the Chemical Bond: A Documentary History”, features a trove of over 800 documents, and is available at <http://osulibrary.oregonstate.edu/specialcollections/coll/pauling/bond/ index.html>

December 10, 2004 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Linus Pauling’s receipt of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. The prize was awarded to Pauling (1901-1994) for “research into the nature of the chemical bond and its application to the elucidation of complex substances.”

The impact of the research that led to these accolades is difficult to overstate. By applying the new quantum physics to the study of structural chemistry, Pauling revolutionized the science world’s understanding of how atoms join together to form molecules. Pauling’s work is, today, the foundation of contemporary structural chemistry. Indeed, Pauling’s 1939 book The Nature of the Chemical Bond has gone down in history as the most frequently-cited scientific publication of the twentieth century. More than 800 digitized letters, manuscripts, photographs, audio-clips and video excerpts – most of them never before available outside of archives – form the heart of Chemical Bond website. They include a number of important and unique items, such as: * The complete manuscript of Pauling’s germinal first paper on the nature of the chemical bond, written in April 1931. * Hundreds of additional pages of manuscripts and notes written by Pauling as he expanded and fine-tuned his theories of structural chemistry throughout the 1930s. * Pauling’s extensive correspondence with many of the major chemists of the era including G.N. Lewis, A.A. Noyes and Irving Langmuir. The original documents are tied together with a narrative describing the details of Pauling’s discoveries, and are amplified by a “Day-by-Day” calendar, which notes all of Pauling’s personal and professional activities throughout the 1930s as well as his Nobel year of 1954.