This compendium of accounts reveals the unique perspectives of many scientists who made major contributions to the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of C60 buckminsterfullerene but who have not previously published personal accounts. The introduction attempts to provide a rational framework for understanding how this discovery came about and how firmly it rested on earlier technical breakthroughs and how important were the contributions of researchers who were young students at the time. In addition to these accounts, most of the key publications are also reprinted. More than anything else, this book gives an in-depth overview of how important cross-disciplinary advances from laboratory synthesis, molecular spectroscopy, radioastronomy, stellar chemistry, and cluster chemistry were in the discovery. Indeed, the story shows not only how major breakthroughs are often impossible to predict but also that the discovery is a perfect example of the value of fundamental science and why it must continue to be supported.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Harry Kroto
SECTION B Personal Accounts
History of "the Nozzle"; Lennard Wharton
Up the Carbon Path; David Jones
In My Time: Scenes from a Scientific Life (extract); Sydney Leach
Early Days in the Rick Smalley Lab; Michael Duncan
Discovery of IRC+10216; Eric Becklin
The Discovery of the Fullerenes; Sean O’Brien
How I Conceived Soccer-Ball Molecule C60?
Partial Translation of a book, "Aromaticity" (in Japanese); Eiji Ōsawa
The First Stepwise Chemical Synthesis of C60; Larry Scott
C60, Arizona, Don Huffman, and Other Stories; Lowell Lamb
A PhD Student Account of the C60 Story; Jon Hare
The C60 Buckminsterfullerene Formation Process: New Revelations after 25 Years; Paul Dunk
Sir Harold (Harry) Walter Kroto, FRS, is the British chemist who shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Robert Curl and Richard Smalley. Kroto is the Francis Eppes Professor of Chemistry at the Florida State University, which he joined in 2004. Prior to that, he spent a large part of his career at the University of Sussex, where he now holds an emeritus professorship.
"This marvelous book brings together the story of C60 in the words of many of those who played an important role in the work. The very well-written introduction by Nobel Laureate Harold Kroto brings a clear perspective to the whole story showing how the works of the contributors fit together. Altogether, this is a wonderful window into the very human thoughts of scientists at all levels as they pursue their dreams."
— Prof. Robert F. Curl, Nobel Laureate