Original Repository: Oregon State University. Library. Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers
Reproduced with permission of the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers. Oregon State University Library.
The Search for the Molecular Helix
January 24, 1947
Dear Professor Sidgwick:
I have been wanting to write to you for some months, to tell you how very pleased I am to have been invited to come to Oxford
next year, and how grateful I am to you for helping to arrange this (as I assume that you did). My letter to you has been
delayed somewhat, because of an uncertainty which arose as to when it would be possible for me to accept the invitation. I
have been talking the matter over with the new president of the California Institute of Technology, Dr. DuBridge. It seems
to have become clear that it would hardly be possible for me to leave Pasadena before the end of the calendar year 1947, and
I have accordingly written to Dr. Aydelotte, to tell him this, and to ask if it would be allowed for me to accept the appointment
as Eastman Professor during the second and third terms of the academic year 1947-48. Dr. Aydelotte has answered that he thinks
that this would be possible, and accordingly my present plan is to arrive in Oxford toward the end of December, 1947, or possibly
early in January, and to stay in Europe until the middle of the summer.
I have been pleased to hear from Dr. Sutton, Dr. Springall, and others that you are getting along well. My wife joins me in
sending you our best wishes for the coming year.
Our work in Pasadena is becoming very interesting again, after the war period, during which we were doing less interesting
things, especially chemical work on rockets counter and cannon powder. We are now beginning an intensive attack on the problem
of the structure of proteins, including the determination of the crystal structure of amino acids and peptides. I have also
begun to do some work on the structure of intermetallic compounds. Our research program in the field of immunochemistry has
continued to make progress. Dr. Beadle came to the Institute last July as Chairman of the Division of Biology, and he has
improved the working conditions in our biological laboratories a great deal already. There is a very close cooperation between
the chemical workers and the biologists here.
Would you be good enough to give me some advice about my Oxford lectures? I have thought tentatively of speaking during the
second term of the academic year on the nature of the chemical bond, and during the third term on intermolecular forces and
biological specificity. Do you think that these subjects would be appropriate ones?
My wife will accompany me to England. We had planned to bring our three younger children with us, but are not sure that this
is what we shall do.
I enclose a letter about Dr. Springall, who asked me to write to you.