The Caltech Institute Archives

Interview with Verner F. H. Schomaker

Schomaker, Verner F. H. (1998) Interview with Verner F. H. Schomaker. [Oral History]

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An interview in four sessions in February 1993 with the physical chemist Verner F. H. Schomaker, professor emeritus at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Schomaker received his BS (1934) and MS (1935) from the University of Nebraska and his PhD (1938) from Caltech. He remained at Caltech, in the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, as a George Ellery Hale Fellow (1938-40), senior research fellow (1940-45), assistant professor (1945-46), associate professor (1946-50), and professor (1950-58), before leaving to join Union Carbide’s research division. In 1965, he moved to the University of Washington, where he chaired the Department of Chemistry for five years. He died in Pasadena, on March 30, 1997. In this interview, he describes the Caltech milieu in the 1930s; his graduate work with Donald Yost; and the operation of the chemistry division under Linus Pauling (1937-1957). Discusses his own work in electron diffraction and collaboration with such colleagues as Jürg Waser, William Lipscomb, David Shoemaker, Roy Glauber, Kenneth Trueblood, and Richard Marsh; his work for Union Carbide; and his eventual move to the University of Washington. Comments on Pauling’s career at Caltech, his deep insight, his wide-ranging interests, his political activism, and his eventual departure from Caltech.

Item Type:Oral History
Record Number:CaltechOH:OH_Schomaker_V
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Schomaker, Verner. Interview by Shirley K. Cohen. Pasadena, California, February 1993. Oral History Project, California Institute of Technology Archives. Retrieved [supply date of retrieval] from the World Wide Web:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
Subjects:Subjects > Chemistry
ID Code:259
Deposited By: Oral Histories Administrator
Deposited On:31 Aug 2017 19:17
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 15:24

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