This year marks the golden anniversary of The Nature of the Chemical Bond and the Structure of Molecules and Crystals: An Introduction to Modern Structural Chemistry, published by Linus Pauling in 1939. This classic book certainly ranks as one of the greatest chemistry texts of this century.

In 1984, Pauling wrote an autobiographical commentary on The Nature of the Chemical Bond for the "Citation Classic" section of the Institute for Scientific Information's Current Contents. He noted that "from 1920 to 1939, great progress was made in the understanding of the nature of the chemical bond through the determination of the structure of crystals by X-ray diffraction and of the structure of gas molecules by electron diffraction and in the application of the theory of quantum mechanics to the problem." He continued, "the results of these studies, with emphasis on my research on the nature of the chemical bond between...

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