Title and Description Page
Family Background and Early Education 1
Childhood in Maplewood, New Jersey; family background in Brandenburg, Germany. Der Kinderfreund, text authored by ancestor. Childhood interest in electricity. Early use of silicon as a crystal detector in radio sets. Influential high school teachers in chemistry and mathematics.
Decision to attend Cornell University along with older brother, Theodore. Hechscher Research Foundation fellowship and related research requirements. Ezra X. Cornell, Cornell University founder. Chemistry department and Rochow's assistantships under Louis M. Dennis. Influential professors at Cornell. Lecture assistantship with Alfred Stock. Stock's work with boron hydrides and mercury. Stock anecdotes. Theodore Rochow's career in microscopy and text, An Introduction to Microscopy.
Early Career 15
Summer job with Halowax Corporation. Effects of Depression on career prospects. Summer job with Hotpoint Company, a General Electric Company subsidiary, analyzing magnesite for use in making periclase. Periclase as insulation in electric ranges. Austauschdienst exchange fellowship. Honeymoon trip to Europe.
Early Research at GE 21
Early work with Louis M. Navias. Otto Hahn's and Liza Meitner's work on uranium atom fission. Rochow's research on uranium hexafluoride.
Methyl Silicone; GE/Corning Glass Works Controversy 23
Research on ethyl phenyl silicone. First production and discovery of methyl silicone as insulator. GE-Corning controversy over methyl silicone. Production of methyl silicone using silicochloroform instead of magnesium. Dow-Corning/GE patent exchange agreement. Manufacture of methyl silicone using fluid-bed catalysis. Symposium at Toshiba with Charles E. Reed.
Later Career 41
Later development of the production of methyl and other silicones. Struggle with Marshall over An Introduction to the Chemistry of the Silicones. Zinc promoter development. Move to Richland, Washington, to conduct research on nuclear fission as source of domestic energy. GE's government research on nuclear propulsion for naval vessels, and decision to leave GE. Chemistry professorship at Harvard University. International recognition as result of winning Perkin Medal. Guest professorship at University of Innsbruck.