If you own a chemical plant and leak a little benzene, you're in big trouble because everyone knows how carcinogenic it is. But coming out of a tailpipe? The government never does anything about that.
My idea of storytelling is-I wouldn't say it's religious but I would say it's spiritual. You know, the chemist Friedrich August Kekule worked for twenty years trying to figure out the structure of the benzene ring, and he couldn't do it. And then one night he was sleeping and he had a vision of a snake swallowing its tail. So he told his students about it and they said, 'Not bad, you go to sleep and you wake up with that.' And he said, 'Visions come to prepared spirits.' The way Billy Wilder put it was 'The muse has to... Read more »
I was working with these very long-chain ... extended-chain polymers, where you had a lot of benzene rings in them. ... Transforming a polymer solution from a liquid to a fiber requires a process called spinning. ... We spun it and it spun beautifully. It [Kevlar] was very strong and very stiff-unlike anything we had made before. I knew that I had made a discovery. I didn't shout "Eureka!" but I was very excited, as was the whole laboratory excited, and management was excited, because we were looking for something new. Something different. And this was it.