Smalley, Richard Errett

Smalley, Richard Errett,

1943–2005, American chemist, b. Akron, Ohio, Ph.D. Princeton, 1973. He was a professor at Rice Univ. in Houston, Tex., from 1976 until his death in 2005. Smalley shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Robert CurlCurl, Robert Floyd, Jr.,
1933–, American chemist, b. Alice, Tex., Ph.D. Univ. of California, Berkeley, 1957. Curl has been a professor at Rice Univ. in Houston, Tex., since 1958.
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 and Harold KrotoKroto, Sir Harold Walter,
1939–, British chemist, Ph.D. Univ. of Sheffield, 1964. Kroto was a member of the faculty at Univ. of Sussex from 1967 to 2004 and is still an emeritus professor there. He has been a professor at Florida State Univ. since 2004.
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 for their discovery of fullerenesfullerene,
any of a class of carbon molecules in which the carbon atoms are arranged into 12 pentagonal faces and 2 or more hexagonal faces to form a hollow sphere, cylinder, or similar figure.
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, a form of carbon sometimes called a buckyball. This unusually symmetrical form of carbon, whose structure resembles a soccer ball, provided the foundation for nanotechnology. Following the discovery, Smalley's research focused almost exclusively on carbon nanotubes, and he used his status as a Nobel winner to push for funding for alternative energy research. In 2000 he founded Carbon Nanotechnologies, Inc., to develop his discoveries commercially.
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