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|"Linus Pauling, Crusading Scientist." 1977.
Produced for NOVA by Robert Richter/WGBH-Boston.
Pauling's Early Start in Chemistry. (2:08)
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Linus Pauling: I can remember being interested in burning glasses, magnifying glass. In the small town in eastern Oregon where I was as
a small boy there was a movie, a motion picture place, for a short while, at any rate, and the projector had large six-inch
diameter lenses. Once one of these broke and was thrown out so that I had a half of the large lens. As I recall, I only had
half of it but it was enough, of course, to focus the sun's rays very well, work as a burning glass. I, I was interested in
that. But I didn't have any deep thought about it. A story that, an episode that I remember, that is perhaps the one you are
referring to is this. One day in Portland I was walking along the street in the rain carrying an umbrella. The street lights
were arcs, an arc lamp, which means a very fine source, a quarter-inch in diameter, perhaps a little larger of bright light.
And with the umbrella in front of me I could see the street light through the fabric and not only could I see the light itself
but there was a spectrum on each side and above and below, four of them, and then four more spread out more at 45-degree angles
in between these. And this phenomenon really did interest me. It was some years before I found the explanation and of course
I learned about diffraction of light by a crossed-grating later on and realized that that explained my observation.
ClipCreator: Linus Pauling
Clip ID: 1977v.66-start
Full WorkCreator: Robert Richter, WGBH-Boston
Associated: Linus Pauling, Ava Helen Pauling, David Shoemaker, E. Bright Wilson, Jr., Frank Catchpool
Copyright: More Information