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Irving Langmuir and the General Electric Laboratories

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Abstract

Irving Langmuir was one of the first of a new race—the industrial scientist who conducted “pure” research, research that was unadulterated by practical demands for improving a company’s products or profits.

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Endnotes

  1. 1.
    From the Introduction to Langmuir’s book Phenomena, Atoms and Molecules (Philosophical Library, 1950), p. viii.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
  3. 3.
    For an excellent discussion of Langmuir’s contributions and Whitney’s relationship to Langmuir, see Willis R. Whitney, “Irving Lang-muir, Scientist,” Current History, March 1933.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Jeffrey Sturchio et al, Chemistry in America, 1876–1976 (Reidel, Dordrecht, 1983), p. 111.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Marjorie Johnston, editor, The Cosmos of Arthur Holly Compton (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1967), p. 240.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Daniel J. Kevles, The Physicists (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1978), p. 100; also, physical chemist Verner Schomaker discussed his role and early work in electron diffraction at Caltech with me at his office at the University of Washington in 1984.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Willis R. Whitney, “Irving Langmuir, Scientist,” Current History, March 1933.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    For a brief discussion of this controversy, see my Linus Pauling: A Man and His Science (Paragon House, New York, 1989), Chapter 6.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Willis R. Whitney, “Irving Langmuir, Scientist,” Current History, March 1933.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    As quoted in Willis R. Whitney, “Irving Langmuir, Scientist,” Current History, March 1933 (Whitney does not give a primary source).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Jeffrey Sturchio et al, Chemistry in America, 1876–1976 (Reidel, Dordrecht, 1983), p. 457; in 1929, toward the end of his life, Langmuir was honored by being appointed to the prestigious post of president of the American Chemical Society.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    For a brief discussion of Langmuir and quantum theory, see Katherine Russell Sopka, Quantum Physics in America (American Institute of Physics, New York, 1985), p. 105.Google Scholar

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© Anthony Serafini 1993

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