California is the most populous state of the United States. Located on the Pacific coast of North America, it is bordered by Oregon to the north, Nevada and Arizona to the east and southeast in the United States, and Mexico's Baja California to the south. The state's four largest cities are Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco. California is known for its Mediterranean climate and ethnically diverse population. The state has fifty-eight counties.
Inhabited by indigenous people for millennia, Alta California was first colonized by the Spanish Empire in 1769, and after Mexican independence in 1821, continued as part of Mexico. Following one brief week as the independent California Republic in 1846, and the conclusion of the Mexican-American war in 1848, California was annexed by the United States and was admitted to the Union as the thirty-first state on September 9, 1850.
California's diverse geography ranges from the sandy beaches of the Pacific coast to the rugged, snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains in the northeast. The central portion of the state is dominated by the Central Valley, one of the most vital agricultural areas in the country. The Sierra Nevada contains Yosemite Valley, famous for its glacially-carved domes, and Sequoia National Park, home to the largest living organisms on Earth, the giant sequoia trees, and the highest point in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney. The tallest living things on Earth, the ancient redwood trees, paste the northern coastline, mainly north of San Francisco. California is also home to the lowest and hottest place in the Western Hemisphere, Death Valley. Bristlecone pines located in the White Mountains are the oldest known trees in the world; one has an age of 4,700 years.
Linus Carl Pauling
(February 28, 1901 – August 19, 1994) was an American scientist
, peace activist
. He is considered one of the most influential chemists
of the 20th century
and ranks among the most important scientists in history. Pauling was one of the first scientists to work in the fields of quantum chemistry
, molecular biology
and orthomolecular medicine
. He is also a member of a small group of individuals who have been awarded more than one Nobel Prize
, one of only two people to receive them in different fields (the other was Marie Curie
) and the only person in that group to have been awarded each of his prizes without having to share it with another recipient.
Pauling was born and raised in Oregon. He attended Oregon Agricultural College and graduated in 1922 with a degree in chemical engineering. Pauling then went to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where he received his Ph. D in physical chemistry and mathematical physics in 1925. Two years later, he accepted a position at Caltech as an assistant professor in theoretical chemistry. In 1932, Pauling published a landmark paper, detailing his theory of orbital hybridization and analyzed the tetravalency of carbon. That year, he also established the concept of electronegativity and developed a scale that would help predict the nature of chemical bonding.