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|"Linus Pauling, Crusading Scientist." 1977.
Produced for NOVA by Robert Richter/WGBH-Boston.
The Joy of Discovery. (1:44)
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Linus Pauling: I like thinking and for some reason it pleases me to feel that I have a thought that no one else has ever had before. Sometimes
these thoughts aren't especially important ones. I ran across a rare mineral called sulvanite, a copper vanadium sulfur, which
is found in very few places in the world. I went to Washington, D.C. to the Geological Survey and met a man, a geologist,
a mineralogist, who had a small sample, a few crystals of this rare mineral, sulvanite. It had been, well I was able to get
these from him and, practically the world's supply. For a while, I carried them around with me feeling pleased that I had
this supply. Then, when, with one of my students I determined the structure of sulvanite. The structure turned out to be quite
different from what I had predicted for it. For the first time, a sulfur atom, instead of directing its four bonds toward
the corners of a regular tetrahedron, the way the carbon atom does in diamond and methane and most carbon compounds, it directed
three bonds in three of these directions and the fourth one in the backward direction, right in between these three. This
was an astounding discovery and I was pleased to think for a while now nobody knows, nobody else in the world knows that there
is this odd sort of sulfur atom in the world.
ClipCreator: Linus Pauling
Clip ID: 1977v.66-joy
Full WorkCreator: Robert Richter, WGBH-Boston
Associated: Linus Pauling, Ava Helen Pauling, David Shoemaker, E. Bright Wilson, Jr., Frank Catchpool
Copyright: More Information