Number 291 (Story #1), October 16, 1996 by Phillip F. Schewe and Ben Stein|
THE 1996 CHEMISTRY NOBEL PRIZE goes to Richard Smalley and Robert Curl of Rice University and Harold Kroto of the University of Sussex (UK) for their discovery in 1985 of fullerenes. Shaped like soccer balls, fullerenes are closed molecules consisting of 60, 70, and certain other higher numbers of carbon atoms. Because they resemble the geodesic domes pioneered by the architect Buckminster Fuller, the molecules are also called buckyballs. In the past half decade, Physics News Update has covered a variety of subjects related to this versatile new form of carbon. For example, buckyballs can be superconducting (Update 31); can be ordered by mail (Update 47); can contain metal atoms (Update 189); can occur in nature (Update 89); can be accelerated in beams (Update 95); can emit light (Update 110); and might have a liquid phase (Update 140).