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The Michael Heidelberger Papers

Title:
Letter from Richard Willstatter to Michael Heidelberger pdf (63,699 Bytes)
Letter from Richard Willstatter to Michael Heidelberger
Description:
Heidelberger had helped to synthesize cyclooctatetraene, the next higher analog of benzene (consisting of a ring with eight carbon atoms and four double bonds), during a year of postdoctoral study (1911-12) in the laboratory of the 1915 Nobel Laureate, Richard Willstatter, at the Federal Polytechnic Institute in Zurich, Switzerland. His research with Willstatter on cyclooctatetraene was controversial, and was questioned as late as the 1940s by Hugh S. Taylor and Charles D. Hurd. In this letter, Willstatter admitted to being "shaken up" by Taylor and Hurd's criticism, which he concluded was due to a misreading of his and Heidelberger's evidence and to ignorance on their part of the chemistry of hydrocarbons of the cyclooctane series. He urged Heidelberger to publish a defense of their research.
In his correspondence with Taylor and Hurd, Heidelberger stood firmly by his and Willstatter's results, pointing out that while Taylor and Hurd showed that cyclooctatetraene resinifies and degrades at high temperatures, he had instead worked in cold temperatures continuously for 24 hours to synthesize a colorless liquid that was both stable and reactive. Heidelberger and Willstatter's results were confirmed by others, and as a consequence of their work cyclooctatetraene became a widely used intermediate in organic chemistry.
In addition, Willstatter congratulated Heidelberger on his research with phosphorylated egg albumin as an antigen for use in precipitin reactions, which Willstatter predicted would open a "new field of work" in immunology.
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (63,699 Bytes)
Date:
1940-03-27 (March 27, 1940)
Creator:
Willstatter, Richard
Recipient:
Heidelberger, Michael
Rights:
Courtesy of Michael Heidelberger.
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Subject:
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Chemistry, Organic
Exhibit Category:
The Making of an Immunologist: Heidelberger's Years at the Rockefeller Institute, 1912-1927
Relation:
Metadata Record Letter from Michael Heidelberger to Hugh S. Taylor, Princeton University (September 9, 1939) pdf (30,132 Bytes) transcript of pdf
/ps/access/DHBBMC.pdf
Metadata Record Letter from Hugh S. Taylor, Princeton University to Michael Heidelberger (November 4, 1939) pdf (106,320 Bytes) transcript of pdf
/ps/access/DHBBMD.pdf
Metadata Record Letter from Michael Heidelberger to Hugh S. Taylor, Princeton University (November 7, 1939) pdf (53,023 Bytes) transcript of pdf
/ps/access/DHBBMF.pdf
Metadata Record Letter from Michael Heidelberger to Charles D. Hurd, Northwestern University (November 8, 1939) pdf (120,729 Bytes) transcript of pdf
/ps/access/DHBBMG.pdf
Metadata Record Letter from Charles D. Hurd, Northwestern University to Michael Heidelberger (November 29, 1939) pdf (182,231 Bytes) transcript of pdf
/ps/access/DHBBMH.pdf
Box Number: 1
Folder Number: 1
Unique Identifier:
DHBBMJ
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Language:
German
Format:
application/pdf
image/tif
Physical Condition:
Good
Folder: MS C 245 (first finding aid)
Metadata Last Modified Date:
2006-07-06
Linked Data:
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