Eyring got lucky to go to Berlin and work with Polanyi, who was already a famous
theoretical chemist, and had conceived the "visual approach" to
quantum chemistry on his own.Eyring had "a flair for making
useful approximations" and making up names ("semiempirical
method", "activated complex" and a symbol for it that was really
his secretary's typo).Eyring's job as Polanyi's assistant was merely
graphing the potential-energy surfaces, using his experience making contour maps
while studying geology and mining in Arizona. He also introduced "several
ad hoc correction factors" into Polanyi's procedure, for which their work
was later criticized.Harold Urey, editor of the Journal of Chemical
Physics, had to be personally pressured by both Wigner and Taylor to publish
Eyring's 1935 paper, and then only with significant revisions and the addition
of an appendix that was not Eyring's idea. Urey said "the method of proof
is unreliable and the result is spurious."His Princeton
students were constantly frustrated that experimental work in Eyring's lab
lagged so far behind "calculations."In 1937, at a
contentious meeting of the Faraday Society, Guggenheim was outright hostile,
characterizing Eyring's paper as "unintelligible."
Agreed that "Reflections of a Scientist" is a great book. It is out
of print, but it's available on Kindle. I love the focus this past
week on science and Mormonism. Keep it up, DN.
One of my all time favorite books is by Henry Eyring: "Reflections of a
Scientist". I think it's out of print but I feel extremely fortunate to
have a copy of the book. I'm sure this guy understood science, but what I
appreciate most are his insights into the gospel. They're not "deep
doctrine", but man are they profound.Whenever I hear of people
who leave the church for "academic" reasons, I think to myself:
"If you had just read Henry Eyring's book, I don't think you would be doing
"LDS biographers and historians fail to tell the whole story". Wow!!! Where did this animosity come from? I think that this was
talking about Dr. Eyrings accomplishments. You're out of order mentioning that
"LDS" scolars are omitting things to impress us about Dr. Eyring and
keep other things hidden. I'm sure that anyone who wants to know about ART in
depth can find out about the hidden story the is being repressed by Mormons if
they are interested. Then they can form the same absurd conspiracy theory you've
concocted. Give me a break.
More info. on Wikipedia under "Theory of absolute rate"
Henry Eyring was a great scientist. "Eyring's greatest scientific
achievement is called the Absolute Rate Theory (ART)."For the
sake of truth and honesty (which Dr. Eyring strongly advocated),LDS biographers
and historians fail to tell the whole story:Another scientist,
Michael Polanyi, simultaneously (and separately) developed the Absolute Rate
Theory (ART). He was an even greater scientist. In fact two of Dr Polanyi's
students went on to win the Nobel Prize.But those facts never made
it into our "official" rendition of history!
"ART has been called one of the most potent forces to ever appear in
chemistry and nearly won Eyring the Nobel Peace Prize."Actually
Eyring nearly won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Several other chemists won the
prize based on their work using ART. An excuse given at the time was that the
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences apparently did not understand Eyring's theory
until it was too late to award him the Nobel, though they did award him their
Berzelius Medal in 1977 as partial compensation.The Nobel Peace
Prize is awarded by a committee of five persons who are chosen by the Norwegian
Storting (Parliament). The other Nobel prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Medicine,
Literature, and Economics are awarded by Swedish academies.
Why did the article leave out any mention of his son, Henry B. Eyring, current
member of the 1st Presidency of the LDS Church? Dr. Eyring came so close to
winning a Nobel Prize. I wish one could be awarded to him posthumanously (sp?
sorry I don't know the spelling of the word).
Dr. Eyring is probably the greatest LDS scientist in terms of reputation and
accomplishments. I remember reading about the Eyring viscosity model in my
transport phenomena textbook. He clearly left a legacy of faith. His
brother-in-law was Spencer W. Kimball. Pres. Henry B. Eyring is his son. Can a
faithful latter-day saint be a good scientist? Here is exhibit A. Duane
The article didn't say, but Dr. Eyring and Elder Smith probably discussed the
creation of the earth and the origin of man, because the two men are known to
have had different positions on that topic. His discussion with Elder Smith is
an example of the fact that LDS, whether lay members like Dr. Eyring or General
Authorities like Elder Smith, have their opinions about things, and that the LDS
aren't inspired in all statements they make.
I was a missionary in West Virginia in 1957 when Dr. Eyring came to speak at the
local chapter of the American Chemical Society. The man we were teaching was the
Secretary of the chapter and was assigned to host Dr. Eyring. He asked Dr.
Eyring what he would like to do during the hours before he spoke to the chapter,
thinking he would want to visit the chemical plants in the area and see their
current research. He was surprised and impressed when Dr. Eyring said he wanted
to visit the state capitol building and learn about the people of the area.