Flory, Paul John

Flory, Paul John, 1910–85, American chemist, b. Sterling, Ill., Ph.D. Ohio State Univ., 1934. Flory was a researcher with the DuPont Company (1934–37) and a professor at the Univ. of Cincinnati (1937–40). He then worked for Esso (now Exxon) Laboratories (1940–43) and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company (1943–48). Flory returned to academia as a professor at Cornell (1948–57), the Mellon Institute, Pittsburgh (1957–61), and Stanford (1961–85). Flory won the 1974 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for theoretical and experimental achievements in the physical chemistry of macromolecules. Flory developed concepts to explain the behavior of polymer molecules, including identification of the theta temperature, now known as the Flory temperature, where the molecule assumes a kind of ideal state. This concept enables useful comparisons to be made among different types of polymers.

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