Who is this man? What is he looking at? What is he doing?
I think documentation meets artistic license, but my colleague thinks she knows things about the image and the gentleman depicted that might challenge my subjective interpretation. Our student assistant has offered a scientific perspective. Please, tell us what you know!
Thank you everyone, your responses are wonderful. We are grateful.
I confess, I am the colleague mentioned in Jen's post. I thought this could be one of Larry Kagan's sculptures . But that sure doesn't look like him!
No Sam, not Fred Nachod. The man is Stanley Bunce former Associate Chairman of the Chemistry Department. He is looking at an array of Dreiding molecular models. The array is certainly not graphite but a random arrangement of connected cyclohexane rings that looks nice.
The molecule is a fragment of diamond, with at least one portion of it being "diamantane" - illustrating the sp3 hybridization of carbon throughout the structure. The man appears to be trying to look along the axis of several of the parallel bonds at the same time in order to see the Newman Projection of the bonds within the structure. Could the man be Kevin Potts?
The layers of hexagonal structures remind me of graphite, but I don't think that would have the bonds between the hex layers on every other vertex.
It looks to me like Frederick C. Nachod, Adjunct Professor of Chemistry in the 1950's. He worked at Sterling Winthrop full time and specialized in the determination of organic structures.
Determination of Organic Structures by Physical Methods, Volume 1
Ernest Alexander Braude, Frederick C. Nachod
Academic Press, 1955
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