By Gary Patterson Carnegie Mellon University
Polymer technology is now an lively and thriving neighborhood of scientists, engineers and technologists, yet there has been a time, no longer see you later in the past, while there has been no such group. The prehistory of polymer technological know-how is helping to supply key insights into present concerns and old difficulties. the tale may be divided into an historical interval ( from Greek occasions to the construction of the molecular consensus), a nascent interval (from Dalton to Kekule to van’t Hoff) and a interval of paradigm formation and controversy (from Staudinger to Mark to Carothers). The prehistory concludes with an account of the epochal 1935 dialogue of the Faraday Society on “Polymerization”. After this assembly an lively group engaged in attempting to remedy the crucial difficulties outlined by way of the discussions.
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Additional resources for A Prehistory of Polymer Science
Even at Faraday Society Meetings, the quality of the ‘‘science’’ was variable. What was encouraged was discussion by the best-known people in the field of interest. As was to be the tradition, the liveliest part of the Meeting was the Discussion. Professor Alexander Findlay (1874–1966) of Aberdeen gave a stirring sermon on the difference between asymptotic ‘‘Laws’’ and the results for actual solutions at finite concentration. Findlay went on the publish a full book on Osmotic Pressure in 1913 .
In the relaxed state, the pattern is characteristic of a simple liquid. At low levels of stretching, the sample becomes birefringent and the X-ray pattern is no longer isotropic. With sufficient stretching a sharp pattern emerges, suggestive of crystallinity. 5 Discussion Meeting of 1932 on the Colloid Aspects of Textile Materials 35 reversible. Astbury immediately grasped the significance of this work for the understanding of conformation changes during stretching: the highly contorted initial macromolecules had to unfold to crystallize.
The so-called Staudinger viscosity Law was debunked both experimentally and theoretically. The consilience of great theory and sound experiments is one of the signs of a progressive research programme. Polymer science was clearly now in this category. The use of the ‘‘random walk model’’ for the conformation of flexible polymer molecules in solution was now under discussion and it has never left! The picture of the attendees at this Discussion includes more than 200 scientists. Many of the speakers and discussion leaders became the pillars of the community of polymer scientists.
A Prehistory of Polymer Science by Gary Patterson Carnegie Mellon University