Bridges between mathematics, natural sciences, architecture and art: case of fullerenes Academic Article uri icon


  • Kroto's idea was to compare radio-astronomy data with the spectroscopic characterization of carbon clusters produced in the laboratory. This was a motivation for the joint experiment performed by Kroto, Kearl and Smolly in September 1985, that led to an absolutely unexpected result–the discovery of the novel С60 molecule. Studying the evaporation of graphite disk under the impulse laser radiation in helium atmosphere, and analyzing the mass-distribution of the generated carbon clusters by a mass spectrometer, scientists detected a dominating peak with the mass of 720 atom units (au). It meant nothing else but self-creation of a stable molecule consisting of 60 atoms of carbon, С60 (remember that mass of 1 carbon atom= 12 au). The peak of С60 always neighbored by a less intense peak of С70. Researchers took a risk and answered much more complex question–how to …

publication date

  • January 1, 2011