Why did I work on certain problems all my life? The Chemical Bond Approach, Passion Without Guidance

Passion Without Guidance. My first year of high school was 1963/64 at Eau Gallie High School just across the bay from Cape Canaveral where my Dad was working. Kennedy gave his moon speech at Rice University on 12 Sep 1962. Within a few months, my Dad left his old job in Texas and moved our family to Florida. To Cape Canaveral and the moon effort.
I studied chemistry all my life. In grade school, then 4 years in high school. Quantum chemistry at Case Western Reserve; statistical mechanics, thermodynamics and nuclear chemistry (fusion and fission) at UT Austin; nuclear chemistry at Detroit Edison Fermi II, NMR and atomic chemistry (inner electrons and nuclear reactions) at Georgetown University; industrial chemistry and petrochemistry at Phillips Petroleum, and a lot more. I had a passion for chemistry, and a strong bias towards certain problems, certain goals and certain ways of approaching problems of any kind.
I was talking to my sister, Sandy, who is two years older than me. She was a junior when I was a freshman, and we took that same chemistry class together. Hans Schneider was our teacher and I always remember “he was involved in the development of the textbook”. But it turns out, it was much more.
The “Chemical Bond Approach” was an initiative that grew at that time and was probably kicked into high gear by “the moon speech”. 75 high schools were involved, perhaps more. It was a passionate and exciting time.
Howard Anthony Neidig (Tony) was connected to Hans Schneider through Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania. Hans was junior to Tony and they worked together on CBA. Tony was “a major force behind the lab component of the CBA Project” and Joseph S Schmuckler’s good friend. There are tens of thousands of entries on the Internet now under “Chemical Bond Approach”.
I found a summary of the Chemical Bond Approach at I found a summary of the approach at https://rejimaruthora.blogspot.com/2019/12/cba.html which captures the main themes. In my own words: To diminish the separate between “scientists” and teachers, to stimulate high school students. Focus on “electrical nature of chemical bond”, use quantitative models to guide projects and investigations, bonds are the essence of chemistry, “order disorder and change are essential elements of true chemistry”.
Why did I hang out with Ilya Prigogine’s group at UT Austin? He got his Nobel prizes in 1977 and I was there in 1974/1975 because of chemical clocks, stochastic methods. Why did I study industrial chemistry on my own for so many years while I was working on other things, then readily accept a job at Phillips Petroleum uprooting my young family? Magnetic and gravitational 3D imaging for geophysical exloration. Electromagnetic control of industrial chemical processes, flame and plasma chemistry, energy and particles with nuclear energies to apply to chemical processing and controlled reactions. The concept of “atomic fuels” with “chemical bonds” where the bonds are KeV and MeV and higher.
Decades working on the gravitational potential to put it in terms of electric and magnetic bonds. Finding the connection between the gravitational energy density, the nuclear energy density, chemical energy densities – for fuels, chemical transformations, ultrastrong materials 1000s of times stronger than even carbon fibers; “atomic fuels” with bonds 1000s times stronger and more energy dense than chemical rocket fuels. And correspondingly smaller and less mass than 100 meter tall chemical fuel tanks and the oxygen needed for burning in those belching, loud and too heavy chemical rockets we still use.
Filed as “Why did I work on certain problems all my life? The Chemical Bond Approach, passion without guidance”.
Richard Collins, The Internet Foundation
Richard K Collins

About: Richard K Collins

Director, The Internet Foundation Studying formation and optimized collaboration of global communities. Applying the Internet to solve global problems and build sustainable communities. Internet policies, standards and best practices.

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