Flory, Paul John

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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 polymerpolymer
, chemical compound with high molecular weight consisting of a number of structural units linked together by covalent bonds (see chemical bond). The simple molecules that may become structural units are themselves called monomers; two monomers combine to form a dimer,
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 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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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Flory, Paul John


Born June 19, 1910, in Sterling, III. American physical chemist.

Flory graduated from Manchester College in Indiana in 1931. He was a professor at Cornell University from 1948 to 1956 and executive director of research at the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research from 1956 to 1961; he became a professor at Stanford University in 1962. Flory is one of the authors of the theory of polycondensation and has made a significant contribution to the theory of polymer solutions and to the statistical mechanics of macromolecules. Methods for determining the structure and properties of macromolecules from viscosity, sedimentation, and diffusion measurements have been developed on the basis of Flo-ry’s work. Flory received a Nobel Prize in 1974.


Principles of Polymer Chemistry. [New York] 1953.
Statisticheskaia mekhanika tsepnykh molekul. Moscow, 1971. (Translated from English.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Flory, Paul John

(1910–85) physical chemist; born in Sterling, Ill. He was a pioneer in polymer chemistry, making major discoveries in the physical chemistry of macromolecules while employed at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company (1943–48). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry (1974) for this work. He was affiliated with Cornell (1948–56) and Stanford (1961–75).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.