Paul John Flory

  • From:

    Stanford University │ Stanford, California

  • Year:

    1971

  • Subject:

    Chemistry

  • Award:

    Cresson

  • Citation:

    For polymer science.

Many consider Paul Flory to be the "founder of polymer science" for his pioneering work which placed the physical chemistry of polymers on a sound scientific footing. Paul Flory was born in Sterling, Illinois in 1910. Flory's interest in chemistry began when he attended Manchester College for his undergraduate degree, which he received in 1931. He studied for his Ph.D. at The Ohio State University, completing it in 1934.

Dr. Flory took at position at the DuPont Company, working in a group headed by Dr. Wallace H. Carothers, inventor of nylon and neoprene. Through this association, he became interested in exploration of the fundamentals of polymerization and polymeric substances. Through the course of his career, Dr. Flory spent time working in both academia and industry. Flory developed theories describing the behavior of polymers in solution, the kinetics of other polymerization reactions, the formation of crosslinked systems, and rubber elasticity. He also pioneered the use of infrared spectroscopy as a tool for determining the chemical structure of polymers. In 1961, he accepted a professorship in the Department of Chemistry at Stanford University, and in 1966, was appointed to the J.G. Jackson - C.J. Wood Professorship in Chemistry.

Information as of 1971