A Prehistory of Polymer Science by Gary Patterson Carnegie Mellon University

By Gary Patterson Carnegie Mellon University

Polymer technological know-how is now an energetic and thriving group of scientists, engineers and technologists, yet there has been a time, no longer see you later in the past, whilst there has been no such neighborhood. The prehistory of polymer technology is helping to supply key insights into present matters and ancient difficulties. the tale should be divided into an old interval ( from Greek instances to the production of the molecular consensus), a nascent interval (from Dalton to Kekule to van’t Hoff) and a interval of paradigm formation and controversy (from Staudinger to Mark to Carothers). The prehistory concludes with an account of the epochal 1935 dialogue of the Faraday Society on “Polymerization”. After this assembly an lively neighborhood engaged in attempting to resolve the important difficulties outlined by way of the discussions.

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He also made reference to another theoretical colleague, Werner Kuhn (1899–1963) (Fig. 10). R. ’’ He was a recognized expert on X-ray diffraction from crystalline materials and had trained with Bragg. He first heard Staudinger talk about macromolecules in 1927, but was unconvinced by his arguments. One of the major stumbling blocks for the X-ray community was that crystalline polymers displayed small unit cells. The solution 38 3 The Faraday Society and the Birth of Polymer Science Fig. 9 Wallace Carothers (1896–1937) Father of Nylon Fig.

Since the ions must have the same chemical potential inside as well as outside the gel in the surrounding solution, the concentrations must be different. This insightful thermodynamic analysis is correct. Even though Proctor did not yet know the details of the gel structure, he considered the swollen gel to be a homogeneous phase, and hence he could trust thermodynamics to make sound predictions. Sound science is based on good experimental work and irrefutable theoretical concepts such as thermodynamics.

He stressed the importance of the ‘‘chain reaction’’ mechanism in these monomers. But, he could not resist the temptation to overgeneralize and to press doubtful points of science and nomenclature. The discussion was vigorous, but not very profitable. Kurt Meyer took the lead in this attack. Mark was more reserved but also more precise in his questions and comments. Fortunately, at this Discussion, antipathy between competitors was not able to derail the general goodwill. Although Staudinger received the Nobel Prize in 1953, he did not achieve an intellectual leadership role in the community of polymer scientists.

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