Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Paul John Flory

Paul John Flory (June 19, 1910 – September 9, 1985) was one of the greatest scientists of the twentieth century. He received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1974 for ‘his fundamental achievements, both theoretical and experimental, in the physical chemistry of macromolecules.’

Paul Flory was born in Sterling, Illinois. After obtaining his BS in 1931 at Manchester College, he took his master’s degree and doctorate at Ohio State University.

In 1934 he was offered a research position at the Du Pont Experimental Station. In 1936 he married Emily Tabor with whom he had three children.
Paul John Flory
In 1935 Flory left Du Pont for the University of Cincinnati’s Basic Science Research Laboratory. Here his work focused on the phenomenon of gelation, the process by which a polymer in a solution turns into a gel, thus bringing its growth to an end.

Goodyear formed a fundamental research group within its research organization in 1943 and invited Flory to lead it. This move enabled him to expand his work on the theory of rubber elasticity, which had first attracted his attention at Standard Oil.

In 1948, Flory joined the faculty at Cornell University, where he taught polymer science for the next nine year. In 1957 he became executive director of the Mellon Institute in Pittsburg and four years alter moved to Stanford University, where in 1966 he was appointed to the J. G, Jackson-C. J, Wood Professorship in Chemistry.

Flory published two authoritative books: Principles of Polymer Chemistry (1953) and Statistical Mechanics of Chain Molecules (1969).
Paul John Flory

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