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Encyclopedia > Paul Flory

Paul John Flory (June 19, 1910September 9, 1985) was an American chemist who was known for his prodigious volume of work in the field of polymers, or macromolecules. Flory graduated with a bachelor's degree from Manchester College in 1931 and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 1934. His first position was at DuPont with Wallace Carothers. He was a leading pioneer in understanding the behavior of polymers in solution. Among his accomplishments are an original method for computing the probable size of a polymer in good solution, the Flory-Huggins Solution Theory, and the derivation of the Flory exponent, which helps characterize the movement of polymers in solution. He introduced the concept of excluded volume, which causes a polymer chain to be expanded in a good solution, and thus provided important conceptual breakthrough explaining several experimental results of the day. This also led to concept of theta point, condition at which the excluded volume is neutralized and chain reverts to ideal chain characteristics. He correctly identified that the chain dimension in polymer melts would have the size computed for a chain in ideal solution, as excluded volume interactions get screened. June 19 is the 170th day of the year (171st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 195 days remaining. ... 1910 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... September 9 is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years). ... This article is about the year. ... A polymer is a long, repeating chain of atoms, formed through the linkage of many molecules called monomers. ... A macromolecule is a molecule composed of a very large number of atoms. ... Manchester College is a liberal arts college located in North Manchester, Indiana. ... The Ohio State University (legal name), also known as Ohio State or OSU, is currently the third largest public university in the United States and ranked by US News as the best public university in Ohio and the twenty-first best public university in the nation. ... This article is about the DuPont company. ... Dr. Wallace Hume Carothers (April 27, 1896 - April 29, 1937) was the leader of organic chemistry at DuPont. ... A polymer is a generic term used to describe a substantially long molecule. ... ...

In modeling the position vectors of atoms in macromolecules it is often necessary to convert from Cartesian coordinates (x,y,z) to generalized coordinates. The Flory convention for defining to variables involved is usually employed. For an example, a peptide bond can be described by the x,y,z positions of every atom in this bond or the Flory convention can be used. Here one must know the bond lengths li, bond angles θi, and the dihedral angles φi. Applying a vector conversion from the Cartesian coordinates to the generalized coordinates will describe the same three dimensional structure using the Flory convention. Cartesian means relating to the French mathematician and philosopher Descartes, who, among other things, worked to merge algebra and Euclidean geometry. ... Lagrangian mechanics is a re-formulation of classical mechanics introduced by Joseph Louis Lagrange in 1788. ... Geometry of the water molecule Molecules have fixed equilibrium geometries--bond lengths and angles--that are dictated by the laws of quantum mechanics. ... Geometry of the water molecule Molecules have fixed equilibrium geometries--bond lengths and angles--that are dictated by the laws of quantum mechanics. ... In Aerospace engineering, the dihedral is the angle that the two wings make with each other. ...

His contributions to the field of polymer science is best summarized in his classic 1953 text, Principles of Polymer Chemistry, where he provides a comprehensive account of experimental and theoretical results proven in his day. While the field of polymers has expanded considerably, the text continues to be highly useful in understanding several key concepts and for didactic reasons.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1974. List of Nobel Prize laureates in Chemistry from 1901 to the present day. ... 1974 (MCMLXXIV) is a common year starting on Tuesday (click on link for calendar). ...

See also

The Protein Data Bank (PDB) is a repository for 3-D structural data of proteins and nucleic acids. ...


  • (1953) Principles of Polymer Chemistry (George Fisher Baker Non-Resident Lec). Cornell University Press. ISBN 0801401348.
  • (1969) Statistical Mechanics of Chain Molecules. Interscience. ISBN 0470264950. Reissued 1989. ISBN 1569900191.
  • (1985) Selected Works of Paul J. Flory. Stanford Univ Press. ISBN 0804712778.

External link

A short autobiography

  Results from FactBites:
Paul Flory Summary (5717 words)
Paul Flory (1910-1985), founder of the science of polymers, was a researcher in macronuclear chemistry and was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1974.
Paul Flory is widely recognized as the founder of the science of polymers.
Paul John Flory, widely recognized as the founder of the science of polymers, was born in Sterling, Illinois, on June 19, 1910.
Polymers: Faces—The Human Dimension (278 words)
Born in 1910 in Sterling, Illinois, Flory studied chemistry as an undergraduate at Manchester College and earned a doctorate in physical chemistry from the Ohio State University in 1934.
Flory worked with Carothers to develop the basic principles of polymerization kinetics and the statistics of molecular mass distribution in polymer samples, among other things.
A year after the death of Carothers in 1937, Flory left DuPont for an academic career, returning to industry for a few years during World War II to work on the development of synthetic rubber for the war effort.
  More results at FactBites »



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