Carothers

Carothers

[kuh-ruhth-erz]
Carothers, Wallace Hume, 1896-1937, American chemist, b. Burlington, Iowa. He received his doctorate at the Univ. of Illinois in 1924, then taught organic chemistry there and at Harvard. In 1928 he was made head of the research group in organic chemistry of the E. I. du Pont de Nemours company in Wilmington, Del. His work there on compounds of high molecular weight led to the discovery of the first synthetic rubber, neoprene. While with du Pont, he also investigated the physical and chemical properties of polyamides, showing that these compounds could be melt-spun into fibers or made into transparent film. This work resulted in the discovery of nylon.

(born April 27, 1896, Burlington, Iowa, U.S.—died April 29, 1937, Philadelphia, Pa.) U.S. chemist. He became director of organic chemical research at DuPont in 1928. There he first worked on polymerization of acetylene and derivatives, leading to the development of neoprene. His outstanding achievement involved the theory of linear polymerization; he tested it by synthesizing polymers structurally resembling cellulose and silk, culminating in the production of nylon. The first synthetic polymer fibre to be produced commercially (1938), it laid the foundation of the synthetic fibre industry.

Learn more about Carothers, W(allace) H(ume) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born April 27, 1896, Burlington, Iowa, U.S.—died April 29, 1937, Philadelphia, Pa.) U.S. chemist. He became director of organic chemical research at DuPont in 1928. There he first worked on polymerization of acetylene and derivatives, leading to the development of neoprene. His outstanding achievement involved the theory of linear polymerization; he tested it by synthesizing polymers structurally resembling cellulose and silk, culminating in the production of nylon. The first synthetic polymer fibre to be produced commercially (1938), it laid the foundation of the synthetic fibre industry.

Learn more about Carothers, W(allace) H(ume) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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