The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1954
Linus Carl Pauling
Born: 28 February 1901, Portland, OR, USA
Died: 19 August 1994, Big Sur, CA, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, CA, USA
Prize motivation: "for his research into the nature of the chemical bond and its application to the elucidation of the structure of complex substances"
Field: chemical bonding, theoretical chemistry
Prize share: 1/1
One person, Linus Pauling, has won two undivided Nobel Prizes. In 1954 he won the Prize for Chemistry. Eight years later he was awarded the Peace Prize for his opposition to weapons of mass destruction.
The atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a turning point in Pauling's life. Together with other scientists he spoke and wrote against the nuclear arms race, and he was a driving force in the Pugwash movement. It sought to reduce the role of nuclear arms in international politics and was awarded the Peace Prize in 1995.
In 1959, Linus Pauling drafted the famous "Hiroshima Appeal", the concluding document issued after the Fifth World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs. He was one of the prime movers who urged the nuclear powers the USA, the Soviet Union and Great Britain to conclude a nuclear test ban treaty, which entered into force on 10 October 1963. On the same day, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that Linus Pauling had won the Peace Prize that had been held over from 1962.