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The Life Of Linus Pauling Essay

1326 words - 5 pages

The 20th century was filled with advancements in science and technology as chemists rapidly began introducing new techniques and discoveries into the world. Linus Carl Pauling is one of the most well recognized scientists of the 1900’s as his assortment of knowledge spread across many topics of science. Pauling was born in Portland, Oregon where he was forced to begin working at a young age of twelve due to his father’s death when he was merely nine. Although Pauling was often preoccupied with family responsibilities, he quickly realized his interest in the field of science. In 1922 Pauling finished his schooling at Oregon Agricultural College in Corvallis with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. To quote a biography written by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, Linus was “a remarkable man who insistently addressed certain crucial human problems while pursuing an amazing array of scientific interests, Dr. Pauling was almost as well known to the American public as he was to the world’s scientific community” (n.p., n.d.). It is apparent that Linus Carl Pauling is glorified as one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century, because he had a historical impact in science, an effect on society, and a personal impact on everyone around him.
Historical Impact
From an early age Pauling served as an example of success for his peers, often offering as a teacher to recently taken classes while he was in school (Simoni, 2003). To give a perspective into the accomplishments of Pauling’s career, he is currently the sole person to be given two Nobel Prizes; the Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1954) and the Nobel Prize for Peace (1962). Pauling published a General Chemistry book that has been used by various programs of undergraduate studies. Pauling is also known as the father of molecular biology. Linus Pauling investigated research into the forming of chemical bonds and furthered the science community’s understanding of using x-ray diffraction as a source of learning bond angles and distances between atoms in a molecule. Pauling had an impact on the history of science as he developed much knowledge in various aspects of science, and then shared his findings with the rest of the world. Electronegativity, hybridization, and resonance are among some of the topics that Pauling further investigated and gave theories on each. A combination of newly discovered concepts and their examples of application helped chemists begin to understand the fundamentals of chemical knowledge. Pauling often used theoretical calculations and his vast knowledge to predict the molecular structure of certain molecules, minerals, compounds, and substances which were then later proven correct by other scientists. The predictions made by Pauling proved as a project for the career of many other scientists, allowing Pauling ample time to continue his education without having to spend time proving his theories. Pauling also made great discoveries in the fields of...

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