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September 4, 2010, 9:09 pm

Buckyballs are 25 years old today!

Sixty carbon atoms arranged in a spherical shape make up a Buckminsterfullerene, more affectionately known as a "buckyball".

What was discovered?

Carbon atoms arranged in different ways can give rise to very different materials - just think of diamonds and graphite!

But the new arrangement of carbon atoms into hollow spheres was an amazing discovery, for which Sir Harold Kroto, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley won the Nobel Prize in 1996 (eleven years after the discovery)

How?

This may sound unbelievable, but playing with toothpicks and jellybeans!!!  Honestly!  Building models just happens to be a very important way to open the mind to discover new arrangements for atoms or molecules...

so have fun building structures with your own favourite sweets - they may reward you some day with more than sugar!

But of course as a scientist you then need to do some fancy experiments to back up your ideas with data!

Why is it important?

It is not an exaggeration to say that buckyballs led to the entire nanotechnology industry!

And if you want to know more - take a look at this link for Molecules that matter!

Are you curious where the name comes from? - check this out!

Argentum, MEMBER
Adult, United States
16 points (HYDROGEN)


Bucky balls are so cool, the start of carbon fiber’s that are changing replacing and taking over . . . that is if we could find a way to mass produce it because even with all it’s amazing quality’s few people want to pay $150 Per square inch.

 
   
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Bucky balls are so cool, the start of carbon fiber’s that are changing replacing and taking over . . . that is if we could find a way to mass produce it because even with all it’s amazing quality’s few people want to pay $150 Per square inch.

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See also

Forum question
how is nanotech made used in ipod nano since it is called 'nano' and is it made used in tv/computer screens?
Jim_Heath_Interview.jpg
Interview
Jim Heath at Caltech talks about his career and hopes for the future. As a PhD student, he was one of the discoverers of the buckminsterfullerene C60, also known as "buckyball".Interviewed...
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News
Acrylic polymers were once used to try to preserve murals, but they slowly damaged the very paintings that they were trying to preserve! Now they can be removed safely using nanotechnology.