Title and Description Page
Family background and early exposure to chemistry 1
Parents' background raising fowl on Maryland Eastern Shore. Mother's publications and collaborations with Havard pathologist E. E. Tysser and Merck Laboratories, developing therapy to prevent turkey pathology. Involvement in fowl culture and early exposure to systematic chemistry. High school influences.
Undergraduate Education at Washington College 3
Liberal arts education. Chemistry major with K. S. Buxton. Influence and importance of Bell Labs and Bell System. Considerations in choosing Princeton University for grauate studies.
Graduate Education at Princeton University 6
General atmosphere at Princeton upon arrival in 1935. Interactions with H. S. Taylor and H. Eyring. Physical chemists' control of program; interactions between various science departments and professors. Coursework in physical chemistry, thermodynamics, chemical reactions, statistical mechanics, and quantum mechanics. Interests in physical chemistry and chemistry of solids. Analytic techniques and work of N. H. Furman and E. Caley. Organic work. Combination of physics and chemistry coursework. Weekly seminars sponsored by Taylor, including N. Bohr's seminar on nuclear fission. Exchange between Princeton and European universities.
Early Research 17
Derivation of work with C. P. Smyth in physical chemistry. Purification of organic materials and birth of solid state chemistry. Discussion of research in physical and polymer chemistry at Princeton and Bell Labs. Research on dielectric properties of medium length chains, and relation to later Bell Labs' work on structural and dielectric materials. Hubert Alyea's work. Classmates graduating 1936 to 1941.
Early Bell Labs Career 27
Factors leading to accepting position at Bell rather than National Research Fellowship. Early work at Summit Labs with C. S. Fuller and J. H. Heiss on materials. Research on structures and properties of high polymeric substances. Atmosphere at Summit vs. Frick Labs. Equipment availability, idea exchange, and technical memoranda. Relations of Summit to New York headquarters staff. Relations within research groups. Colleagues, including S. Morgan. Literature reviews and library research to follow industry trends. Cross licensing products.
Research at Bell Labs 36
Labs' role in birth of solid state era. Use of combined chemistry, physics, and fundamental engineering resources in new research supporting telecommunications and information handling. Labs' support for continuing education. Research program using x-ray diffraction techniques to study crystallinity of polymers, synthesizing polyesters and polyamides and investigating their chemical structures and physical properties. Importance of polyethylene as replacement for lead. Relationships between Bell Labs, General Electric, and DuPont discoveries, and importance of W. Carothers' work. Importance of cellulose research within industry. Contributions of Shackelton, Yager, and Darrow, and Debye's rare consulting relationship with Bell Labs. Move to Murray Hill. Patent on surface hardening of linear polyamide bodies and subsequent wide applications. Scientific reactions to idea of polyamides and polyesters as unique structures of matter.
Rubber Research 46
Origins of involvement in national synthetic rubber project. Discovery of method of vulcanizing rubber during extrusion. Labs' staff involvement in rubber chemistry section of ACS. Rubber Reserve and importance of synthetic rubber during WWII. Nationalization of U.S. rubber industry. DeBye and light scattering for macromolecular solutions. Interferometer/refractometer measurement method. Effects of rubber project on Labs' internal organization. Traditional rubber manufacturers' reactions to project. Work of Frank Mayo and U.S. Rubber. Rubber Research Discussion Group, group dynamics, academic/industrial scientists' relationships, and collaborations within the macromolecular scientific community. April 1945 discussion of molecular weight distributions in polymer structures.
Additional Research at Bell Labs 57
Genesis of microgel work and role of colloid chemistry. Application of synthetic rubber knowledge to creation of new structures for telecommunications. Microwave networks and the need for polymers. Era of carrier frequencies and coaxial structures, and creation of polyethylene sheathing and containers in packaging industry. Substitution of polymers for metals and textiles as structural elements throughout U. S. industry. Research themes of organic corrosion in polymers, internal stress and improved molecular structures, silicones and fluropolymers. Emphasis on scientific basis of polymers and company reorganization. Research connections with transistor work and solid state physics. Chemical side of solid-state development. Comparison of prewar and postwar research environments. Heat shields work, National Research Council, and involvement in developing ICBMs, missiles, rockets. General effects at Labs of synthetic rubber project and other polymer-related war research. Polymer research group. Journals' influence on research agenda. Informal mechanisms for exchanging polymer information.
Administrative Career 69
Duties and research agenda as assistant director of chemical laboratories. Interactions with R. M. Burns. Labs' management philosophies. Position as vice president for research: style, tone, vision of unified materials science with allied fields and chemistry at core.