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Michael PolanyiScientist and Philosopher$
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William Taussig Scott and Martin X. Moleski

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195174335

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/019517433X.001.0001

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 The Fiber Institute: 1920–1923

 The Fiber Institute: 1920–1923

(p.67) 4 The Fiber Institute: 1920–1923
Michael Polanyi

William Taussig Scott

Martin X. Moleski (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Fritz Haber hired Polanyi to work in the Fiber Chemistry Group of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin. Polanyi helped develop the rotating-crystal method of X-ray crystallography, made solid contributions to understanding the structure of cellulose, pressed forward with his work on adsorption catalysis and electrostatic dipoles, laid the foundation for transition rate theory in reaction kinetics, and investigated the bond strength of crystals; he was also forced to give up a cherished theory about quantum jumps in reaction kinetics, which taught him an important lesson about how scientists work together to distinguish real discoveries from mistaken surmises. Polanyi married Magda Kemeny on February 21, 1921, in a civil ceremony; their first child, George Michael Polanyi, was born on October 1, 1922.

Keywords:   Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, rotating-crystal method, crystallography, adsorption catalysis, dipoles, quantum jumps, discovery, George Michael Polanyi

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