[November 14]
1985

Professors Robert Curl and Richard Smalley at Rice and Professor Harold Kroto at the University of Sussex discover a 3rd form of carbon while trying to simulate the composition of carbon-rich stars. Smalley names this soccer ball-shaped molecule "buckminsterfullerene" to honor geodesic dome inventor and futurist Buckminster Fuller. Quickly dubbed "buckyballs," the discovery shocks the scientific world because carbon is among the most studied elements in nature, and buckyballs represent a new molecular form of carbon distinct from graphite and diamond.

 

Dr. Smalley and Dr. Curl
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