Linus Carl Pauling (/ˈpɔːlɪŋ/; February 28, 1901 – August 19, 1994) was an American chemist, biochemist, peace activist, author, educator, and husband of American human rights activist Ava Helen Pauling. He published more than 1,200 papers and books, of which about 850 dealt with scientific topics. New Scientist called him one of the 20 greatest scientists of all time, and as of 2000, he was rated the 16th most important scientist in history.
Pauling was one of the founders of the fields of quantum chemistry and molecular biology. His contributions to the theory of the chemical bond include the concept of orbital hybridisation and the first accurate scale of electronegativities of the elements. Pauling also worked on the structures of biological molecules, and showed the importance of the alpha helix and beta sheet in protein secondary structure. Pauling's approach combined methods and results from X-ray crystallography, molecular model building and quantum chemistry. His discoveries inspired the work of James Watson, Francis Crick, and Rosalind Franklin on the structure of DNA, which in turn made it possible for geneticists to crack the DNA code of all organisms.
In his later years he promoted nuclear disarmament, as well as orthomolecular medicine, megavitamin therapy, and dietary supplements. None of the latter have gained much acceptance in the mainstream scientific community.
For his scientific work, Pauling was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954. For his peace activism, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962. He is one of four individuals to have won more than one Nobel Prize (the others being Marie Curie, John Bardeen and Frederick Sanger). Of these, he is the only person to have been awarded two unshared Nobel Prizes, and one of two people to be awarded Nobel Prizes in different fields, the other being Marie Curie.
Linus Pauling in 1962
Linus Carl Pauling
February 28, 1901
|Died||August 19, 1994 (aged 93)|
Ava Helen Miller
(m. 1923; d. 1981)
|Institutions||As faculty member
|Thesis||The Determination with X-Rays of the Structures of Crystals (1925)|
|Doctoral advisor||Roscoe Dickinson|
|Other academic advisors||Arnold Sommerfeld|
|Doctoral students||Martin Karplus|
Edgar Bright Wilson
The only person to win two unshared Nobel Prizes.
Pauling was born in Portland, Oregon, the first-born child of Herman Henry William Pauling (1876–1910) and Lucy Isabelle "Belle" Darling (1881–1926). He was named "Linus Carl", in honor of Lucy's father, Linus, and Herman's father, Carl.
In 1902, after his sister Pauline was born, Pauling's parents decided to move out of Portland, to find more affordable and spacious living quarters than their one-room apartment. Lucy stayed with her husband's parents in Lake Oswego until Herman brought the family to Salem, where he worked briefly as a traveling salesman for the Skidmore Drug Company. Within a year of Lucile's birth in 1904, Herman Pauling moved his family to Oswego, where he opened his own drugstore. He moved his family to Condon, Oregon, in 1905. By 1906, Herman Pauling was suffering from recurrent abdominal pain. He died of a perforated ulcer on June 11, 1910, leaving Lucy to care for Linus, Lucile and Pauline.
Pauling attributes his interest in becoming a chemist to being amazed by experiments conducted by a friend, Lloyd A. Jeffress, who had a small chemistry lab kit. He later wrote: "I was simply entranced by chemical phenomena, by the reactions in which substances, often with strikingly different properties, appear; and I hoped to learn more and more about this aspect of the world."
In high school, Pauling conducted chemistry experiments by scavenging equipment and material from an abandoned steel plant. With an older friend, Lloyd Simon, Pauling set up Palmon Laboratories in Simon's basement. They approached local dairies offering to perform butterfat samplings at cheap prices but dairymen were wary of trusting two boys with the task, and the business ended in failure.
At age 15, the high school senior had enough credits to enter Oregon State University (OSU), known then as Oregon Agricultural College. Lacking two American history courses required for his high school diploma, Pauling asked the school principal if he could take the courses concurrently during the spring semester. Denied, he left Washington High School in June without a diploma. The school awarded him an honorary diploma 45 years later, after he was awarded two Nobel Prizes.
Pauling held a number of jobs to earn money for his future college expenses, including working part-time at a grocery store for $8 per week. His mother arranged an interview with the owner of a number of manufacturing plants in Portland, Mr. Schwietzerhoff, who hired him as an apprentice machinist at a salary of $40 per month. This was soon raised to $50 per month. Pauling also set up a photography laboratory with two friends. In September 1917, Pauling was finally admitted by Oregon State University. He immediately resigned from the machinist's job and informed his mother, who saw no point in a university education, of his plans.
In his first semester, Pauling registered for two courses in chemistry, two in mathematics, mechanical drawing, introduction to mining and use of explosives, modern English prose, gymnastics and military drill. He was active in campus life and founded the school's chapter of the Delta Upsilon fraternity. After his second year, he planned to take a job in Portland to help support his mother. The college offered him a position teaching quantitative analysis, a course he had just finished taking himself. He worked forty hours a week in the laboratory and classroom and earned $100 a month, enabling him to continue his studies.
In his last two years at school, Pauling became aware of the work of Gilbert N. Lewis and Irving Langmuir on the electronic structure of atoms and their bonding to form molecules. He decided to focus his research on how the physical and chemical properties of substances are related to the structure of the atoms of which they are composed, becoming one of the founders of the new science of quantum chemistry.
Engineering professor Samuel Graf selected Pauling to be his teaching assistant in a mechanics and materials course. During the winter of his senior year, Pauling taught a chemistry course for home economics majors. It was in one of these classes that Pauling met his future wife, Ava Helen Miller.:41
In 1922, Pauling graduated from Oregon State University (known then as Oregon Agricultural College) with a degree in chemical engineering. He went on to graduate school at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, California, under the guidance of Roscoe Dickinson and Richard Tolman. His graduate research involved the use of X-ray diffraction to determine the structure of crystals. He published seven papers on the crystal structure of minerals while he was at Caltech. He received his PhD in physical chemistry and mathematical physics, summa cum laude, in 1925.
|Linus Pauling, Oregon Experience, Oregon Historical Society|
In 1926, Pauling was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to travel to Europe, to study under German physicist Arnold Sommerfeld in Munich, Danish physicist Niels Bohr in Copenhagen and Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in Zürich. All three were experts in the new field of quantum mechanics and other branches of physics. Pauling became interested in how quantum mechanics might be applied in his chosen field of interest, the electronic structure of atoms and molecules. In Zürich, Pauling was also exposed to one of the first quantum mechanical analyses of bonding in the hydrogen molecule, done by Walter Heitler and Fritz London. Pauling devoted the two years of his European trip to this work and decided to make it the focus of his future research. He became one of the first scientists in the field of quantum chemistry and a pioneer in the application of quantum theory to the structure of molecules.
In 1927, Pauling took a new position as an assistant professor at Caltech in theoretical chemistry. He launched his faculty career with a very productive five years, continuing with his X-ray crystal studies and also performing quantum mechanical calculations on atoms and molecules. He published approximately fifty papers in those five years, and created the five rules now known as Pauling's rules. By 1929, he was promoted to associate professor, and by 1930, to full professor. In 1931, the American Chemical Society awarded Pauling the Langmuir Prize for the most significant work in pure science by a person 30 years of age or younger. The following year, Pauling published what he regarded as his most important paper, in which he first laid out the concept of hybridization of atomic orbitals and analyzed the tetravalency of the carbon atom.
At Caltech, Pauling struck up a close friendship with theoretical physicist Robert Oppenheimer, who spent part of his research and teaching schedule away from U.C. Berkeley at Caltech every year. Pauling was also affiliated to UC Berkeley as Visiting Lecturer in Physics and Chemistry from 1929 to 1934. Oppenheimer even gave Pauling a stunning personal collection of minerals. The two men planned to mount a joint attack on the nature of the chemical bond: apparently Oppenheimer would supply the mathematics and Pauling would interpret the results. Their relationship soured when Oppenheimer tried to pursue Pauling's wife, Ava Helen. When Pauling was at work, Oppenheimer came to their home and blurted out an invitation to Ava Helen to join him on a tryst in Mexico. She flatly refused, and reported the incident to Pauling. He immediately cut off his relationship with Oppenheimer.:152
In the summer of 1930, Pauling made another European trip, during which he learned about gas-phase electron diffraction from Herman Francis Mark. After returning, he built an electron diffraction instrument at Caltech with a student of his, Lawrence Olin Brockway, and used it to study the molecular structure of a large number of chemical substances.
Pauling introduced the concept of electronegativity in 1932. Using the various properties of molecules, such as the energy required to break bonds and the dipole moments of molecules, he established a scale and an associated numerical value for most of the elements – the Pauling Electronegativity Scale – which is useful in predicting the nature of bonds between atoms in molecules.
In 1936, Pauling was promoted to Chairman of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Caltech, and to the position of Director of the Gates and Crellin laboratories of Chemistry. He would hold both positions until 1958. Pauling also spent a year in 1948 at the University of Oxford as George Eastman Visiting Professor and Fellow of Balliol.
In the late 1920s, Pauling began publishing papers on the nature of the chemical bond. Between 1937 and 1938, he took a position as George Fischer Baker Non-Resident Lecturer in Chemistry at Cornell University. While at Cornell, he delivered a series of nineteen lectures and completed the bulk of his famous textbook The Nature of the Chemical Bond.:Preface It is based primarily on his work in this area that he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954 "for his research into the nature of the chemical bond and its application to the elucidation of the structure of complex substances". Pauling's book has been considered "chemistry's most influential book of this century and its effective bible". In the 30 years after its first edition was published in 1939, the book was cited more than 16,000 times. Even today, many modern scientific papers and articles in important journals cite this work, more than seventy years after the first publication.
Part of Pauling's work on the nature of the chemical bond led to his introduction of the concept of orbital hybridization. While it is normal to think of the electrons in an atom as being described by orbitals of types such as s and p, it turns out that in describing the bonding in molecules, it is better to construct functions that partake of some of the properties of each. Thus the one 2s and three 2p orbitals in a carbon atom can be (mathematically) 'mixed' or combined to make four equivalent orbitals (called sp3 hybrid orbitals), which would be the appropriate orbitals to describe carbon compounds such as methane, or the 2s orbital may be combined with two of the 2p orbitals to make three equivalent orbitals (called sp2 hybrid orbitals), with the remaining 2p orbital unhybridized, which would be the appropriate orbitals to describe certain unsaturated carbon compounds such as ethylene.:111–120 Other hybridization schemes are also found in other types of molecules. Another area which he explored was the relationship between ionic bonding, where electrons are transferred between atoms, and covalent bonding, where electrons are shared between atoms on an equal basis. Pauling showed that these were merely extremes, and that for most actual cases of bonding, the quantum-mechanical wave function for a polar molecule AB is a combination of wave functions for covalent and ionic molecules.:66 Here Pauling's electronegativity concept is particularly useful; the electronegativity difference between a pair of atoms will be the surest predictor of the degree of ionicity of the bond.
The third of the topics that Pauling attacked under the overall heading of "the nature of the chemical bond" was the accounting of the structure of aromatic hydrocarbons, particularly the prototype, benzene. The best description of benzene had been made by the German chemist Friedrich Kekulé. He had treated it as a rapid interconversion between two structures, each with alternating single and double bonds, but with the double bonds of one structure in the locations where the single bonds were in the other. Pauling showed that a proper description based on quantum mechanics was an intermediate structure which was a blend of each. The structure was a superposition of structures rather than a rapid interconversion between them. The name "resonance" was later applied to this phenomenon. In a sense, this phenomenon resembles those of hybridization and also polar bonding, both described above, because all three phenomena involve combining more than one electronic structure to achieve an intermediate result.
In 1929, Pauling published five rules which help to predict and explain crystal structures of ionic compounds. These rules concern (1) the ratio of cation radius to anion radius, (2) the electrostatic bond strength, (3) the sharing of polyhedron corners, edges and faces, (4) crystals containing different cations, and (5) the rule of parsimony.
In the mid-1930s, Pauling, strongly influenced by the biologically oriented funding priorities of the Rockefeller Foundation's Warren Weaver, decided to strike out into new areas of interest. Although Pauling's early interest had focused almost exclusively on inorganic molecular structures, he had occasionally thought about molecules of biological importance, in part because of Caltech's growing strength in biology. Pauling interacted with such great biologists as Thomas Hunt Morgan, Theodosius Dobzhanski, Calvin Bridges and Alfred Sturtevant. His early work in this area included studies of the structure of hemoglobin with his student Charles D. Coryell. He demonstrated that the hemoglobin molecule changes structure when it gains or loses an oxygen atom. As a result of this observation, he decided to conduct a more thorough study of protein structure in general. He returned to his earlier use of X-ray diffraction analysis. But protein structures were far less amenable to this technique than the crystalline minerals of his former work. The best X-ray pictures of proteins in the 1930s had been made by the British crystallographer William Astbury, but when Pauling tried, in 1937, to account for Astbury's observations quantum mechanically, he could not.
It took eleven years for Pauling to explain the problem: his mathematical analysis was correct, but Astbury's pictures were taken in such a way that the protein molecules were tilted from their expected positions. Pauling had formulated a model for the structure of hemoglobin in which atoms were arranged in a helical pattern, and applied this idea to proteins in general.
In 1951, based on the structures of amino acids and peptides and the planar nature of the peptide bond, Pauling, Robert Corey and Herman Branson correctly proposed the alpha helix and beta sheet as the primary structural motifs in protein secondary structure. This work exemplified Pauling's ability to think unconventionally; central to the structure was the unorthodox assumption that one turn of the helix may well contain a non-integer number of amino acid residues; for the alpha helix it is 3.7 amino acid residues per turn.
Pauling then proposed that deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was a triple helix; his model contained several basic mistakes, including a proposal of neutral phosphate groups, an idea that conflicted with the acidity of DNA. Sir Lawrence Bragg had been disappointed that Pauling had won the race to find the alpha helix structure of proteins. Bragg's team had made a fundamental error in making their models of protein by not recognizing the planar nature of the peptide bond. When it was learned at the Cavendish Laboratory that Pauling was working on molecular models of the structure of DNA, James Watson and Francis Crick were allowed to make a molecular model of DNA. They later benefited from unpublished data from Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin at King's College which showed evidence for a helix and planar base stacking along the helix axis. Early in 1953 Watson and Crick proposed a correct structure for the DNA double helix. Pauling later cited several reasons to explain how he had been misled about the structure of DNA, among them misleading density data and the lack of high quality X-ray diffraction photographs. During the time Pauling was researching the problem, Rosalind Franklin in England was creating the world's best images. They were key to Watson's and Crick's success. Pauling did not see them before devising his mistaken DNA structure, although his assistant Robert Corey did see at least some of them, while taking Pauling's place at a summer 1952 protein conference in England. Pauling had been prevented from attending because his passport was withheld by the State Department on suspicion that he had Communist sympathies. This led to the legend that Pauling missed the structure of DNA because of the politics of the day (this was at the start of the McCarthy period in the United States). Politics did not play a critical role. Not only did Corey see the images at the time, but Pauling himself regained his passport within a few weeks and toured English laboratories well before writing his DNA paper. He had ample opportunity to visit Franklin's lab and see her work, but chose not to.:414–415
Pauling also studied enzyme reactions and was among the first to point out that enzymes bring about reactions by stabilizing the transition state of the reaction, a view which is central to understanding their mechanism of action. He was also among the first scientists to postulate that the binding of antibodies to antigens would be due to a complementarity between their structures. Along the same lines, with the physicist turned biologist Max Delbrück, he wrote an early paper arguing that DNA replication was likely to be due to complementarity, rather than similarity, as suggested by a few researchers. This was made clear in the model of the structure of DNA that Watson and Crick discovered.
In November 1949, Pauling, Harvey Itano, S. J. Singer and Ibert Wells published "Sickle Cell Anemia, a Molecular Disease" in the journal Science. It was the first proof of a human disease caused by an abnormal protein, and sickle cell anemia became the first disease understood at the molecular level. Using electrophoresis, they demonstrated that individuals with sickle cell disease have a modified form of hemoglobin in their red blood cells, and that individuals with sickle cell trait have both the normal and abnormal forms of hemoglobin. This was the first demonstration causally linking an abnormal protein to a disease, and also the first demonstration that Mendelian inheritance determines the specific physical properties of proteins, not simply their presence or absence – the dawn of molecular genetics.
His success with sickle cell anemia led Pauling to speculate that a number of other diseases, including mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, might result from flawed genetics. As chairman of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and director of the Gates and Crellin Chemical Laboratories, he encouraged the hiring of researchers with a chemical-biomedical approach to mental illness, a direction not always popular with established Caltech chemists.:2
In 1951, Pauling gave a lecture entitled "Molecular Medicine". In the late 1950s, Pauling studied the role of enzymes in brain function, believing that mental illness may be partly caused by enzyme dysfunction.
On September 16, 1952, Pauling opened a new research notebook with the words "I have decided to attack the problem of the structure of nuclei." On October 15, 1965, Pauling published his Close-Packed Spheron Model of the atomic nucleus in two well respected journals, Science and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. For nearly three decades, until his death in 1994, Pauling published numerous papers on his spheron cluster model.
The basic idea behind Pauling's spheron model is that a nucleus can be viewed as a set of "clusters of nucleons". The basic nucleon clusters include the deuteron [np], helion [pnp], and triton [npn]. Even–even nuclei are described as being composed of clusters of alpha particles, as has often been done for light nuclei. Pauling attempted to derive the shell structure of nuclei from pure geometrical considerations related to Platonic solids rather than starting from an independent particle model as in the usual shell model. In an interview given in 1990 Pauling commented on his model:
Now recently, I have been trying to determine detailed structures of atomic nuclei by analyzing the ground state and excited state vibrational bends, as observed experimentally. From reading the physics literature, Physical Review Letters and other journals, I know that many physicists are interested in atomic nuclei, but none of them, so far as I have been able to discover, has been attacking the problem in the same way that I attack it. So I just move along at my own speed, making calculations ...
Pauling had been practically apolitical until World War II. At the beginning of the Manhattan Project, Robert Oppenheimer invited him to be in charge of the Chemistry division of the project. However, he declined, not wanting to uproot his family.
Pauling did, however, work on research for the military. He was a principal investigator on 14 OSRD contracts. The National Defense Research Committee called a meeting on October 3, 1940, wanting an instrument that could reliably measure oxygen content in a mixture of gases, so that they could measure oxygen conditions in submarines and airplanes. In response Pauling designed the Pauling oxygen meter, which was developed and manufactured by Arnold O. Beckman, Inc.. After the war, Beckman adapted the oxygen analyzers for use in incubators for premature babies.:180–186
In 1942, Pauling successfully submitted a proposal on "The Chemical Treatment of Protein Solutions in the Attempt to Find a Substitute for Human Serum for Transfusions". His project group, which included J.B. Koepfli and Dan Campbell, developed a possible replacement for human blood plasma in transfusions: polyoxy gelatin (Oxypolygelatin).
Other wartime projects with more direct military applications included work on explosives, rocket propellants and the patent for an armor-piercing shell. In October 1948 Pauling was awarded a Presidential Medal for Merit by President Harry S. Truman. The citation credits him for his "imaginative mind", "brilliant success", and "exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services. In 1949, he served as president of the American Chemical Society.
The aftermath of the Manhattan Project and his wife Ava's pacifism changed Pauling's life profoundly, and he became a peace activist. In 1946, he joined the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists, chaired by Albert Einstein. Its mission was to warn the public of the dangers associated with the development of nuclear weapons.
His political activism prompted the U.S. State Department to deny him a passport in 1952, when he was invited to speak at a scientific conference in London. In a speech before the US Senate on June 6 of the same year, Senator Wayne Morse publicly denounced the action of the State Department, and urged the Passport Division to reverse its decision. Pauling and his wife Ava were then issued a "limited passport" to attend the aforementioned conference in England. His full passport was restored in 1954, shortly before the ceremony in Stockholm where he received his first Nobel Prize.
Joining Einstein, Bertrand Russell and eight other leading scientists and intellectuals, he signed the Russell-Einstein Manifesto issued July 9, 1955. He also supported the Mainau Declaration of July 15, 1955, signed by 52 Nobel Prize laureates.
In May 1957, working with Washington University in St. Louis professor Barry Commoner, Pauling began to circulate a petition among scientists to stop nuclear testing. On January 15, 1958, Pauling and his wife presented a petition to United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld calling for an end to the testing of nuclear weapons. It was signed by 11,021 scientists representing fifty countries.
In February 1958, Pauling participated in a publicly televised debate with the atomic physicist Edward Teller about the actual probability of fallout causing mutations. Later in 1958, Pauling published No more war!, in which he not only called for an end to the testing of nuclear weapons but also an end to war itself. He proposed that a World Peace Research Organization be set up as part of the United Nations to "attack the problem of preserving the peace".
Pauling also supported the work of the St. Louis Citizen's Committee for Nuclear Information (CNI). This group, headed by Barry Commoner, Eric Reiss, M. W. Friedlander and John Fowler, organized a longtudinal study to measure radioactive strontium-90 in the baby teeth of children across North America. The "Baby Tooth Survey," published by Dr. Louise Reiss, demonstrated conclusively in 1961 that above-ground nuclear testing posed significant public health risks in the form of radioactive fallout spread primarily via milk from cows that had ingested contaminated grass. The Committee for Nuclear Information is frequently credited for its significant contribution to supporting the test ban, as is the ground-breaking research conducted by Dr. Reiss and the "Baby Tooth Survey".
Public pressure and the frightening results of the CNI research subsequently led to a moratorium on above-ground nuclear weapons testing, followed by the Partial Test Ban Treaty, signed in 1963 by John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev. On the day that the treaty went into force, October 10, 1963, the Nobel Prize Committee awarded Pauling the Nobel Peace Prize for 1962. (No prize had previously been awarded for that year.) They described him as "Linus Carl Pauling, who ever since 1946 has campaigned ceaselessly, not only against nuclear weapons tests, not only against the spread of these armaments, not only against their very use, but against all warfare as a means of solving international conflicts." Pauling himself acknowledged his wife Ava's deep involvement in peace work, and regretted that she was not awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with him.
Many of Pauling's critics, including scientists who appreciated the contributions that he had made in chemistry, disagreed with his political positions and saw him as a naïve spokesman for Soviet communism. In 1960, he was ordered to appear before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, which termed him "the number one scientific name in virtually every major activity of the Communist peace offensive in this country." A headline in Life magazine characterized his 1962 Nobel Prize as "A Weird Insult from Norway".
Pauling was a frequent target of the National Review magazine. In an article entitled "The Collaborators" in the magazine's July 17, 1962 issue, Pauling was referred to not only as a collaborator, but as a "fellow traveler" of proponents of Soviet-style communism. In 1965, Pauling sued the magazine, its publisher William Rusher, and its editor William F. Buckley, Jr for $1 million. He lost both his libel suits and the 1968 appeal.
His peace activism, his frequent travels, and his enthusiastic expansion into chemical-biomedical research all aroused opposition at Caltech. In 1958, the Caltech Board of Trustees demanded that Pauling step down as chairman of the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division.:2 Although he had retained tenure as a full professor, Pauling chose to resign from Caltech after he received the Nobel peace prize money. He spent the next three years at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions (1963–1967). In 1967, he moved to the University of California at San Diego, but remained there only briefly, leaving in 1969 in part because of political tensions with the Reagan-era board of regents.:3 From 1969 to 1974, he accepted a position as Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University.
During the 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson's policy of increasing America's involvement in the Vietnam War caused an anti-war movement that the Paulings joined with enthusiasm. Pauling denounced the war as unnecessary and unconstitutional. He made speeches, signed protest letters and communicated personally with the North Vietnamese leader, Ho Chi Minh, and gave the lengthy written response to President Johnson. His efforts were ignored by the American government.
Pauling was awarded the International Lenin Peace Prize by the USSR in 1970. He continued his peace activism in the following years. He and his wife Ava helped to found the International League of Humanists in 1974. He was president of the scientific advisory board of the World Union for Protection of Life and also one of the signatories of the Dubrovnik-Philadelphia Statement of 1974/1976. Linus Carl Pauling was an honorary president and member of the International Academy of Science, Munich until the end of his life.
Pauling supported a limited form of eugenics by suggesting that human carriers of defective genes be given a compulsory visible mark - such as a forehead tattoo - to discourage potential mates with the same defect, in order to reduce the number of babies with diseases such as sickle cell anemia.
In 1941, at age 40, Pauling was diagnosed with Bright's disease, a renal disease. Following the recommendations of Thomas Addis, who actively recruited Ava Helen Pauling as "nutritionist, cook, and eventually as deputy 'doctor'", Pauling was able to control the disease with Addis's then-unusual low-protein salt-free diet and vitamin supplements. Thus Pauling's initial – and intensely personal – exposure to the idea of treating disease with vitamin supplements was positive.
In 1965, Pauling read Niacin Therapy in Psychiatry by Abram Hoffer and theorized vitamins might have important biochemical effects unrelated to their prevention of associated deficiency diseases. In 1968, Pauling published a brief paper in Science entitled "Orthomolecular psychiatry", giving a name to the popular but controversial megavitamin therapy movement of the 1970s, and advocating that "orthomolecular therapy, the provision for the individual person of the optimum concentrations of important normal constituents of the brain, may be the preferred treatment for many mentally ill patients." Pauling coined the term "orthomolecular" to refer to the practice of varying the concentration of substances normally present in the body to prevent and treat disease. His ideas formed the basis of orthomolecular medicine, which is not generally practiced by conventional medical professionals and has been strongly criticized.
In 1973, with Arthur B. Robinson and another colleague, Pauling founded the Institute of Orthomolecular Medicine in Menlo Park, California, which was soon renamed the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine. Pauling directed research on vitamin C, but also continued his theoretical work in chemistry and physics until his death. In his last years, he became especially interested in the possible role of vitamin C in preventing atherosclerosis and published three case reports on the use of lysine and vitamin C to relieve angina pectoris. During the 1990s, Pauling put forward a comprehensive plan for the treatment of heart disease using lysine and vitamin C. In 1996, a website was created expounding Pauling's treatment which it referred to as Pauling Therapy. Proponents of Pauling Therapy believe that heart disease can be treated and even cured using only lysine and Vitamin C and without drugs or heart operations.
Pauling's work on vitamin C in his later years generated much controversy. He was first introduced to the concept of high-dose vitamin C by biochemist Irwin Stone in 1966. After becoming convinced of its worth, Pauling took 3 grams of vitamin C every day to prevent colds. Excited by his own perceived results, he researched the clinical literature and published Vitamin C and the Common Cold in 1970. He began a long clinical collaboration with the British cancer surgeon Ewan Cameron in 1971 on the use of intravenous and oral vitamin C as cancer therapy for terminal patients. Cameron and Pauling wrote many technical papers and a popular book, Cancer and Vitamin C, that discussed their observations. Pauling made vitamin C popular with the public and eventually published two studies of a group of 100 allegedly terminal patients that claimed vitamin C increased survival by as much as four times compared to untreated patients.
A re-evaluation of the claims in 1982 found that the patient groups were not actually comparable, with the vitamin C group being less sick on entry to the study, and judged to be "terminal" much earlier than the comparison group. Later clinical trials conducted by the Mayo Clinic also concluded that high-dose (10,000 mg) vitamin C was no better than placebo at treating cancer and that there was no benefit to high-dose vitamin C. The failure of the clinical trials to demonstrate any benefit resulted in the conclusion that vitamin C was not effective in treating cancer; the medical establishment concluded that his claims that vitamin C could prevent colds or treat cancer were quackery. Pauling denounced the conclusions of these studies and handling of the final study as "fraud and deliberate misrepresentation", and criticized the studies for using oral, rather than intravenous vitamin C (which was the dosing method used for the first ten days of Pauling's original study). Pauling also criticised the Mayo clinic studies because the controls were taking vitamin C during the trial, and because the duration of the treatment with vitamin C was short; Pauling advocated continued high-dose vitamin C for the rest of the cancer patient's life whereas the Mayo clinic patients in the second trial were treated with vitamin C for a median of 2.5 months. The results were publicly debated at length with considerable acrimony between Pauling and Cameron, and Moertel (the lead author of the Mayo Clinic studies), with accusations of misconduct and scientific incompetence on both sides.
Ultimately the negative findings of the Mayo Clinic studies ended general interest in vitamin C as a treatment for cancer. Despite this, Pauling continued to promote vitamin C for treating cancer and the common cold, working with The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential to use vitamin C in the treatment of brain-injured children. He later collaborated with the Canadian physician Abram Hoffer on a micronutrient regime, including high-dose vitamin C, as adjunctive cancer therapy. A 2009 review also noted differences between the studies, such as the Mayo clinic not using intravenous Vitamin C, and suggested further studies into the role of vitamin C when given intravenously. Results from most clinical trials suggest that modest vitamin C supplementation alone or with other nutrients offers no benefit in the prevention of cancer.
Pauling married Ava Helen Miller on June 17, 1923. The marriage lasted until Ava Pauling's death in 1981. They had four children. Linus Carl Jr. (born 1925) became a psychiatrist; Peter Pauling (1931–2003) a crystallographer at University College London; Edward Crellin Pauling (1937–1997) a biologist; and Linda Helen (born 1932) married noted Caltech geologist and glaciologist Barclay Kamb.
Pauling was raised as a member of the Lutheran Church, but later joined the Unitarian Universalist Church. Two years before his death, in a published dialogue with Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda, Pauling publicly declared his atheism.
On January 30, 1960, Pauling and his wife were using a cabin about 80 miles (130 km) south of Monterey, California, and he decided to go for a walk on a coastal trail. He got lost and tried to climb the rocky cliff, but reached a large overhanging rock about 300 feet (90 m) above the ocean. He decided it was safest to stay there, and meanwhile he was reported missing. He spent a sleepless night on the cliff before being found after almost 24 hours.
Pauling died of prostate cancer on August 19, 1994, at 19:20 at home in Big Sur, California. He was 93 years old. A grave marker for Pauling was placed in Oswego Pioneer Cemetery in Lake Oswego, Oregon by his sister Pauline, but Pauling's ashes, along with those of his wife, were not buried there until 2005.
Pauling's discoveries led to decisive contributions in a diverse array of areas including around 350 publications in the fields of quantum mechanics, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, protein structure, molecular biology, and medicine.
His work on chemical bonding marks him as one of the founders of modern quantum chemistry. The Nature of the Chemical Bond was the standard work for many years, and concepts like hybridization and electronegativity remain part of standard chemistry textbooks. While his Valence bond approach fell short of accounting quantitatively for some of the characteristics of molecules, such as the color of organometallic complexes, and would later be eclipsed by the molecular orbital theory of Robert Mulliken, Valence Bond Theory still competes, in its modern form, with Molecular Orbital Theory and density functional theory (DFT) as a way of describing the chemical phenomena. Pauling's work on crystal structure contributed significantly to the prediction and elucidation of the structures of complex minerals and compounds.:80–81 His discovery of the alpha helix and beta sheet is a fundamental foundation for the study of protein structure.
Francis Crick acknowledged Pauling as the "father of molecular biology". His discovery of sickle cell anemia as a "molecular disease" opened the way toward examining genetically acquired mutations at a molecular level.
Pauling's 1951 publication with Robert B. Corey and H. R. Branson, "The Structure of Proteins: Two Hydrogen-Bonded Helical Configurations of the Polypeptide Chain," was a key early finding in the then newly emerging field of molecular biology. This publication was honored by a Citation for Chemical Breakthrough Award from the Division of History of Chemistry of the American Chemical Society presented to the Department of Chemistry, Caltech, in 2017.
The Pauling Centre for Human Sciences at the University of Oxford was named after Linus Pauling in honour of his contribution across both the sciences and humanities.
Oregon State University completed construction of the $77 million, 100,000 square foot Linus Pauling Science Center in the late 2000s, now housing a bulk of Oregon State's chemistry classrooms, labs, and instruments.
On March 6, 2008, the United States Postal Service released a 41 cent stamp honoring Pauling designed by artist Victor Stabin. His description reads: "A remarkably versatile scientist, structural chemist Linus Pauling (1901–1994) won the 1954 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for determining the nature of the chemical bond linking atoms into molecules. His work in establishing the field of molecular biology; his studies of hemoglobin led to the classification of sickle cell anemia as a molecular disease." The other scientists on this sheet of stamps included Gerty Cori, biochemist, Edwin Hubble, astronomer, and John Bardeen, physicist.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver announced on May 28, 2008 that Pauling would be inducted into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts. The induction ceremony took place December 15, 2008. Pauling's son was asked to accept the honor in his place.
By proclamation of Gov. John Kitzhaber in the state of Oregon, February 28 has been named "Linus Pauling Day". The Linus Pauling Institute still exists, but moved in 1996 from Palo Alto, California, to Corvallis, Oregon, where it is part of the Linus Pauling Science Center at Oregon State University. The Valley Library Special Collections at Oregon State University contain the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers, including digitized versions of Pauling's forty-six research notebooks.
In 1986, Caltech commemorated Linus Pauling with a Symposium and Lectureship. The Pauling Lecture series at Caltech began in 1989 with a lecture by Pauling himself. The Caltech Chemistry Department renamed room 22 of Gates Hall the Linus Pauling Lecture Hall, since Linus spent so much time there.
Other places named after Pauling include Pauling Street in Foothill Ranch, California; Linus Pauling Drive in Hercules, California; Linus and Ava Helen Pauling Hall at Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, California; Linus Pauling Middle School in Corvallis, Oregon; and Pauling Field, a small airfield located in Condon, Oregon, where Pauling spent his youth. There is a psychedelic rock band in Houston, Texas, named The Linus Pauling Quartet.
In 2010, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory named its distinguished postdoctoral program in his honor, as the Linus Pauling Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.
He is also an assistant to Samuel H. Graf in a mechanics and materials course.
Graf gave me a job correcting papers in the courses he taught, about statics and dynamics, bridge structure, strength of materials, and so on. I also helped him in the laboratory.
[In] January of 1952, Pauling requested a passport to attend a meeting in England ... The passport was denied because granting it "would not be in the best interest of the United States." He applied again and wrote President Eisenhower, asking him to arrange the issuance of the passport since, "I am a loyal citizen of the United States. I have never been guilty of any unpatriotic or criminal act."
Pauling said that his Nobel Peace Prize should really have gone to her, or at least been shared between them.
Conclusion. There is no high-quality evidence to suggest that ascorbate supplementation in cancer patients either enhances the antitumor effects of chemotherapy or reduces its toxicity.
"At this time, the evidence is inconsistent on whether dietary vitamin C intake affects cancer risk. Results from most clinical trials suggest that modest vitamin C supplementation alone or with other nutrients offers no benefit in the prevention of cancer... Some researchers support reassessment of the use of high-dose IV vitamin C as a drug to treat cancer... It is uncertain whether supplemental vitamin C and other antioxidants might interact with chemotherapy and/or radiation.
...I [Pauling] am not, however, militant in my atheism. The great English theoretical physicist Paul Dirac is a militant atheist. I suppose he is interested in arguing about the existence of God. I am not. It was once quipped that there is no God and Dirac is his prophet.
|Awards and achievements|
| Laureate of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Vincent du Vigneaud
| Laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize
of the Red Cross,
League of Red Cross Societies
4674 Pauling, provisional designation 1989 JC, is a spheroidal binary Hungaria asteroid from the innermost regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 4.5 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered by American astronomer Eleanor Helin at the U.S Palomar Observatory, California, on 2 May 1989, and named after American chemist and Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling.Art Robinson
Arthur Brouhard Robinson (born March 24, 1942) is an American biochemist, conservative activist, and politician. He was the five-time Republican nominee for the United States House of Representatives for Oregon's 4th congressional district.
A former faculty member of the University of California, San Diego, Robinson now runs a privately funded laboratory known as the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine in Cave Junction, Oregon, a newsletter called Access to Energy, and publishes the Robinson Self-Teaching Home School Curriculum.As the Republican nominee for the Fourth District in Oregon, Robinson ran and lost to Democratic incumbent Peter DeFazio in five consecutive elections: 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018. He served as Chairman of the Oregon Republican Party from August 2013 to February 2015.Ava Helen Pauling
Ava Helen Pauling (née Miller; December 24, 1903 – December 7, 1981) was an American human rights activist and wife of Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling. Throughout her life, she was involved in various social movements including women's rights, racial equality, and international peace.
An avid New Dealer, Ava Helen Pauling was heavily interested in American politics and social reforms. She is credited with introducing Linus Pauling to the field of peace studies, for which he received the 1962 Nobel Peace Prize. Most prominent among the various causes she supported was the issue of ending nuclear proliferation. Ava Helen Pauling worked with her husband, advocating a stop to the production and use of nuclear arms. Their campaigning helped lead to the Limited Test Ban Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union, effectively ending the above-ground testing of nuclear weapons.Biological specificity
In biology, biological specificity is the tendency of a characteristic such as a behavior or a biochemical variation to occur in a particular species.
Biochemist Linus Pauling stated that "Biological specificity is the set of characteristics of living organisms or constituents of living organisms of being special or doing something special. Each animal or plant species is special. It differs in some way from all other species... biological specificity is the major problem about understanding life."Committee for Nuclear Responsibility
The Committee for Nuclear Responsibility was formed as a "political and educational organization to disseminate anti-nuclear views and information to the public". The goals of the organization were a moratorium on nuclear power and the commercialization of alternative energy sources.John Gofman founded the Committee for Nuclear Responsibility in 1971, as a small non-profit, public interest association with four Nobel Laureates on its Board. These Nobel scientists were Linus Pauling, Harold Urey, George Wald and James D. Watson. Other scientists who were involved included Paul Ehrlich, John Edsall, and Richard E. Bellman. The Board of Directors included Lewis Mumford, Ramsey Clark, Ian MacHarg, and Richard Max McCarthy. Actor Jack Lemmon endorsed the goals of the Committee for Nuclear Responsibility.Gofman was Director of the Committee for Nuclear Responsibility for many years and his independent research yielded higher risk estimates from low-level radiation than the estimates presented by various government agencies. His books carefully show how his analyses proceed from raw data to final conclusions, with no hidden steps.Condon State Airport
Condon State Airport (FAA LID: 3S9), is a public airport 1 mile (1.6 km) northeast of the city of Condon in Gilliam County, in the U.S. state of Oregon.
The airport is also known as Pauling Field, after Nobel laureate Linus Pauling, who lived in Condon during his youth.Edgar Bright Wilson
Edgar Bright Wilson Jr. (December 18, 1908 – June 12, 1992) was an American chemist.Wilson was a prominent and accomplished chemist and teacher, recipient of the National Medal of Science in 1975, Guggenheim Fellowships in 1949 and 1970, the Elliott Cresson Medal in 1982, and a number of honorary doctorates. He was also the Theodore William Richards Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus at Harvard University. One of his sons, Kenneth G. Wilson, was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 1982.
E. B. Wilson was a student and protégé of Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling and was a coauthor with Pauling of Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, a graduate level textbook in Quantum Mechanics. Wilson was also the thesis advisor of Nobel Laureate Dudley Herschbach. Wilson was elected to the first class of the Harvard Society of Fellows.
Wilson made major contributions to the field of molecular spectroscopy. He developed the first rigorous quantum mechanical Hamiltonian in internal coordinates for a polyatomic molecule. He developed the theory of how rotational spectra are influenced by centrifugal distortion during rotation. He pioneered the use of group theory for the analysis and simplification normal mode analysis, particularly for high symmetry molecules, such as benzene. In 1955, with J.C. Decius and Paul C. Cross, Wilson published Molecular Vibrations, still the primary reference text for the theoretical analysis of vibrational spectroscopy, including the GF matrix method that Wilson had developed. Following the Second World War, Wilson was a pioneer in the application of microwave spectroscopy to the determination of molecular structure. Wilson wrote an influential introductory text Introduction to Scientific Research that provided an introduction of all the steps of scientific research, from defining a problem through the archival of data after publication.
Starting in 1997, the American Chemical Society has annually awarded the E. Bright Wilson Award in Spectroscopy, named in honor of Wilson.Emile Zuckerkandl
Émile Zuckerkandl (July 4, 1922 – November 9, 2013) was an Austrian-born French biologist considered one of the founders of the field of molecular evolution. He is best known for introducing, with Linus Pauling, the concept of the "molecular clock", which enabled the neutral theory of molecular evolution.Ewan Cameron
Ewan Cameron (31 July 1922 in Dumbarton – 21 March 1991) was a Scottish physician who worked with Linus Pauling on Vitamin C research. He received his medical degree from the University of Glasgow in 1944, and immediately joined the British Army, where he served as a medical officer in Burma for three years.
Cameron was Consultant Surgeon at Vale of Leven Hospital in the County of Dunbarton (1956 - 1982), becoming the Senior Consultant Surgeon in 1973. He received the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977, as well as fellowships from the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of Glasgow and Edinburgh, and the Royal Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow. In 1966, Cameron published his first book, Hyaluronidase and Cancer.
In 1971, Cameron began corresponding with Dr. Linus Pauling. He completed many scientific studies in conjunction with the institute, and published Cancer and Vitamin C with Pauling in 1979. After retirement from Vale of Leven Hospital in 1982, Cameron was invited to become Medical Director and Senior Research Professor at the Linus Pauling Institute, where he worked closely with Pauling on many research topics.Harvey Itano
Harvey Akio Itano (November 3, 1920 – May 8, 2010) was an American biochemist best known for his work on the molecular basis of sickle cell anemia and other diseases. In collaboration with Linus Pauling, Itano used electrophoresis to demonstrate the difference between normal hemoglobin and sickle cell hemoglobin; their 1949 paper "Sickle Cell Anemia, a Molecular Disease" (coauthored also with S. J. Singer and Ibert C. Wells) was a landmark in both molecular medicine and protein electrophoresis.
In 1979, Itano became the first Japanese American elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences (in the Genetics section). Itano was an emeritus professor of pathology at the University of California, San Diego. Itano died in La Jolla, California of complications from Parkinson's disease.Herman Branson
Herman Russell Branson (August 14, 1914 – June 7, 1995) was an American physicist, chemist, best known for his research on the alpha helix protein structure, and was also the president of two colleges.Linus Pauling Award
The Linus Pauling Award is an award recognizing outstanding achievement in chemistry. It is awarded annually by the Puget Sound, Oregon, and Portland sections of the American Chemical Society, and is named after the US chemist Linus Pauling (1901–1994), to whom it was first awarded in 1966.
Another Linus Pauling Award is given annually by the Chemistry Department at Buffalo State College.Linus Pauling Institute
The Linus Pauling Institute is a research institute located at the Oregon State University with a focus on health maintenance. The mission statement of the institute is to determine the functional roles of micronutrients and phytochemicals in promoting optimal health and to treat or prevent human disease, and to determine the role of oxidative stress and inflammation in health and disease. There are several major areas of research occurring at the institute, focused on many vitamins, minerals and other compounds found in the diet.
The institute was founded in 1973 in Menlo Park, California by Linus Pauling and several colleagues under the name Institute of Orthomolecular Medicine. Due to Linus Pauling's death, it relocated to Oregon in 1996 although several researchers, including the assistant director of research, went on to form the Genetic Information Research Institute in nearby Mountain View, CA. It produces a free quarterly newsletter with information on micronutrient research, sponsors several research awards, and promotes several outreach programs.
Since January 2018, the director of the Linus Pauling Institute is Dr. Richard B. van Breemen, a pharmacologist. The institute is housed in the Linus Pauling Science Center, which opened in October 2011. It is the largest-ever academic building on the Oregon State University campus. The Linus Pauling Institute receives a significant amount of research funding from private and public organizations, such as the National Institutes of Health. The Linus Pauling Institute web site is home to the Micronutrient Information Center, an online database for vitamin, mineral, phytochemical and nutrition information.Nobel Prize in Chemistry
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry (Swedish: Nobelpriset i kemi) is awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to scientists in the various fields of chemistry. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895, awarded for outstanding contributions in chemistry, physics, literature, peace, and physiology or medicine. This award is administered by the Nobel Foundation, and awarded by Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on proposal of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry which consists of five members elected by Academy. The award is presented in Stockholm at an annual ceremony on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death.
The first Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded in 1901 to Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff, of the Netherlands, "for his discovery of the laws of chemical dynamics and osmotic pressure in solutions." From 1901 to 2018, the award has been bestowed on a total of 180 individuals.Orbital overlap
In chemical bonds, an orbital overlap is the concentration of orbitals on adjacent atoms in the same regions of space. Orbital overlap can lead to bond formation. The importance of orbital overlap was emphasized by Linus Pauling to explain the molecular bond angles observed through experimentation and is the basis for the concept of orbital hybridization. Since s orbitals are spherical (and have no directionality) and p orbitals are oriented 90° to each other, a theory was needed to explain why molecules such as methane (CH4) had observed bond angles of 109.5°. Pauling proposed that s and p orbitals on the carbon atom can combine to form hybrids (sp3 in the case of methane) which are directed toward the hydrogen atoms. The carbon hybrid orbitals have greater overlap with the hydrogen orbitals, and can therefore form stronger C–H bonds.
A quantitative measure of the overlap of two atomic orbitals ΨA and ΨB on atoms A and B is their overlap integral, defined as
where the integration extends over all space. The star on the first orbital wavefunction indicates the complex conjugate of the function, which in general may be complex-valued.Pauling
Pauling is a surname. People, places, and organizations with this surname include:
Linus Pauling Institute
Linus Pauling Library
Linus Pauling Award
Ava Helen Pauling, wife of Linus
Tom PaulingRobert Corey
Robert Brainard Corey (August 19, 1897 – April 23, 1971) was an American biochemist, mostly known for his role in discovery of the α-helix and the β-sheet with Linus Pauling. Also working with Pauling was Herman Branson. Their discoveries were remarkably correct, with even the bond lengths being accurate until about 40 years later. The α-helix and β-sheet are two structures that are now known to form the backbones of many proteins.Sickle Cell Anemia, a Molecular Disease
"Sickle Cell Anemia, a Molecular Disease" is a 1949 scientific paper by Linus Pauling, Harvey A. Itano, Seymour J. Singer and Ibert C. Wells that established sickle-cell anemia as a genetic disease in which affected individuals have a different form of the metalloprotein hemoglobin in their blood. The paper, published in the November 25, 1949 issue of Science, reports a difference in electrophoretic mobility between hemoglobin from healthy individuals and those with sickle-cell anemia, with those with sickle cell trait having a mixture of the two types. The paper suggests that the difference in electrophoretic mobility is probably due to a different number of ionizable amino acid residues in the protein portion of hemoglobin (which was confirmed in 1956 by Vernon Ingram), and that this change in molecular structure is responsible for the sickling process. It also reports the genetic basis for the disease, consistent with the simultaneous genealogical study by James V. Neel: those with sickle-cell anemia are homozygous for the disease gene, while heterozygous individuals exhibit the usually asymptomatic condition of sickle cell trait.The paper introduced the concept of a "molecular disease", and is considered a major impetus to the development of molecular medicine. The paper helped establish that genes control not just the presence or absence of enzymes (as genetics had shown in the early 1940s) but also the specific structure of protein molecules. It was also an important triumph in the efforts of Pauling and others to apply the instruments and methods of the physical sciences to biology, and Pauling used it promote such research and attract funding.The Linus Pauling Quartet
The Linus Pauling Quartet is a psychedelic rock group which specializes in a specific subgenre known as "Texas Psych", but frequently dabbles also in garage rock, stoner rock, punk rock, and heavy metal at various points throughout their discography. The LP4 was formed in 1994 by veterans of various local groups from the Houston and Clear Lake areas of Texas. Born of the same musical cauldron that birthed such renowned Texas Psych favorites as The Mike Gunn, Dry Nod, and Schlong Weasel, bands which also included later members of Charalambides and Dunlavy, the LP4 got off the ground when guitarist Ramon Medina and bassist Stephen Finley recruited drummer Larry Liska and singer/guitarist Clinton Heider and the quartet began writing and recording songs for their first album, Immortal Chinese Classics Music, released in 1995 on their own Worship Guitars label. The album surprisingly earned considerable attention beyond their native Houston, garnering notable reviews in several music magazines such as Q Music, Factsheet Five, Alternative Press, Crohinga Well, and Ptolemaic Terrascope, and featured "The Linus Theme" and "Hamburger Girl", two songs which came to define the band's early years, and which the LP4 revisited many times throughout their career.
The band's notice by Ptolemaic Terrascope was particularly helpful, as the LP4 were invited to contribute a track to the magazine's inaugural benefit compilation double-CD Succour. An all-night practice space recording session yielded not only their contribution "Dartania", which was chosen as the lead-off track on the benefit album, but also a batch of other tracks split evenly between improvisations and structured songs, which were ultimately released by German label September Gurls in 1997 as a self-titled limited edition vinyl album.
Armed with a recording contract with September Gurls, in 1996 the band added analog synthesizer player Flip Osman and saxophonist/guitarist/singer Charlie Horshack, swelling their ranks and expanding their sonic palette, and this lineup released Killing You With Rock in 1998. The following year, they were featured on a split 7" vinyl single with Italian band Kryptasthesie, contributing a very rare live version of their song "Jason Bill", a tribute to the erstwhile Charalambides guitarist.
The year 2000 was an active year for the Linus Pauling Quartet: they were invited to Seattle, Washington, to play at the fourth Terrastock psychedelic music festival alongside such musical luminaries as Bardo Pond, Moe Tucker, and Ghost; and they released Ashes in the Bong of God, a "concept album" related to their ongoing saga of the "bongs of power", alien "bug people," and "the Great Singularity," issued on double vinyl in Europe through the September Gurls label and on CD in the United States through the Fleece label. It was also during this time that Flip Osman left Houston and the band added keyboardist and photo-theremin player Carol Sandin to the group, though both members were present at the band's appearance at Terrastock IV.
The LP4 contributed a notable version of Syd Barrett's song "Vegetable Man" to The Vegetable Man Project, a compilation of wildly disparate covers of that song released by Italian label Oggetti Volanti Non Identificati in 2002.
In 2003 the band released their final offering on the September Gurls label: C6H8O6, a massive
slab of psych-rock showing the full range of the band's abilities, including MC5-esque garage rock, a psychedelic depiction of airplanes falling out of the sky, songs about bongs, a song about eating Mexican food with Satan, and a lush psych-rock cover of Kraftwerk's "Hall of Mirrors".
The band appeared at showcases at Austin's South by Southwest festival in 2004, 2005, and 2008. Otherwise, the next few years were outwardly quiet for the LP4, but they were hard at work recording a large cache of material which would go on to comprise much of their subsequent two albums, and continuing to compose more material for future releases, intermittently taking breaks to play shows in their native Houston; Carol Sandin departed the group during this time. All Things Are Light, self-released in conjunction with Camera Obscura on purple vinyl and made up primarily of some of the band's heaviest music to date, garnered a considerable number of positive reviews upon its release in December 2007. On the heels of this release, the band was again invited to perform at Terrastock in June 2008, this time in Louisville, Kentucky, resulting in one of their most memorable shows, playing alongside such notable psychedelic groups as MV & EE, Robert Schneider's Thee American Revolution, Damon & Naomi, and Kawabata Makoto.
2010 saw the band release a 7" vinyl split single with Austin sister-band ST 37; ST 37 contributed a cover of Helios Creed's "Lactating Purple", while the Linus Pauling Quartet debuted their original piece "Monster". Only months later the band released Horns of Ammon, an album of songs recorded with Carol Sandin, primarily dating back to 2003-2005, released on Homeskool Records; it included the single "Monster", as well as the biker anthem "HAWG!!!", previously released as a single through the extremely limited-edition Grey Ghost series in Houston. Though the album was essentially an "odds and sods" release, documenting a set of more melodic and textural music than appeared on the other "official" albums contemporaneously released, it received largely positive reviews. The band released their next and eighth official studio album, entitled Bag of Hammers, in September 2012. A heavier sounding release than the material presented on Horns of Ammon, it also included one of the first examples of the band employing a guest vocalist as the lead singer on the song "Rust", which was sung by Hearts of Animals vocalist Mlee Marie. It was at this point that the band began producing homemade videos to some of their songs; album lead-off track "Crom" and "Victory Gin" were both set to videos created predominantly by band guitarist Ramon Medina.
In January 2013, the Linus Pauling Quartet released Assault on the Vault of the Ancient Bonglords, a three-disk anthology covering their earliest recordings from 1994 all the way through 2010, packaged with a fully playable Dungeons & Dragons-style dice-based roleplaying game module, and a purple 20-sided die. The band followed this up in July 2013 with the 7" EP Find What You Love And Let It Kill You, which showcased the songwriting of Ramon Medina, as well as a considerably softer side of the Linus psychedelic sound. The EP also resulted in another Medina video, this time for the song "The Road", which again featured Mlee Marie, playing a bell-like keyboard part which helped underline the song's fragile feel and circular structure.
In October 2014, the Linus Pauling Quartet released both a video and a 7" single for their song C is for Cthulhu, an epic retelling of the discovery of Cthulhu and the ensuing slaughter and madness. For the B side, the LP4 reached back into Houston's swirling psychedelic past to cover My Desire, originally by Houston's Pain Teens, featuring Bliss Blood and Scott Ayres. The accompanying video starred Burn the Boats vocalist Stevie Sims and MMA fighter Makana Clemons as intrepid and fearless archaeologists who seek that which should be left unknown. Employing a rugged captain and his trusty crew (The LP4’s Charlie Horshack, Clinton Heider, and Stephen Finley), they sail to the fabled R’lyeh to meet their fate. The new video was described by The Big Takeover as “insanely ambitious” and by the Houston Press as a “monumental work” . Over a year was spent building sets, crafting a stop motion Cthulhu from scratch, as well as shooting stop motion sequences and live actors.
In May 2015, the band released the single "Planck", a song co-written with band associate Brandon R. Brown, based on his contemporaneously published book Driven By Vision, Broken By War about German physicist Max Planck, as a teaser for their next full-length release. Finally, the band released its long awaited follow-up to Bag of Hammers: entitled Ampalanche, it released first on vinyl through Italian label Vincebus Eruptum in January 2016, and then in April of that year, it was released digitally online, paired with a 49-minute bonus track: "Vi, de Druknede (We, the Drowned)", a droning wordless group improvisation based on twin electronic tambouras. In July 2017, the group contributed side one to the Vincebus Eruptum label's third Psychedelic Battles split LP with Colt38, including their final masterpiece, "Jolakottur," the lyrics of which were derived from Icelandic folklore.
Shortly thereafter, the band split, with lead singer/songwriter/guitarist Clinton Heider moving on to new adventures, including playing guitar with Mlee Marie's band Hearts of Animals, and the rest of the group re-teaming with earlier keyboardist/vocalist Carol Sandin Cooley, now calling themselves the Cryptographers, with Medina and Sandin Cooley taking over singing and songwriting duties, sporting a somewhat poppier sound informed by krautrock, indie rock, and the Velvet Underground.
Presidents of the American Chemical Society
Gandhi Peace Award laureates