Kroto, Sir Harold W.

▪ British chemist
in full  Sir Harold Walter Kroto  
born Oct. 7, 1939, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, Eng.
 
 English chemist who, with Richard E. Smalley (Smalley, Richard E.) and Robert F. Curl, Jr. (Curl, Robert F., Jr.), was awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their joint discovery of the carbon compounds called fullerenes (fullerene).

      Kroto received a Ph.D. from the University of Sheffield in 1964. He joined the faculty of the University of Sussex in 1967 and became a professor of chemistry there in 1985. In the course of his research, Kroto used microwave spectroscopy to discover long, chainlike carbon molecules in the atmospheres of stars and gas clouds. Wishing to study the vaporization of carbon in order to find out how these carbon chains formed, he went to Rice University (Houston, Texas), where Smalley had designed an instrument, the laser-supersonic cluster beam apparatus, that could vaporize almost any known material and then be used to study the resulting clusters of atoms or molecules.

      In a series of experiments carried out in September 1985, the two men, along with Smalley's associate at Rice, Robert Curl, generated clusters of carbon atoms by vaporizing graphite in an atmosphere of helium. Some of the spectra they obtained from the vaporization corresponded to previously unknown forms of carbon containing even numbers of carbon atoms ranging from 40 to more than 100 atoms. Most of the new carbon molecules had a structure of C60. The researchers recognized that this molecule's atoms are bonded together into a highly symmetrical, hollow structure that resembles a sphere or ball. C60 is a polygon with 60 vertices and 32 faces, 12 of which are pentagons and 20 of which are hexagons—the same geometry as that of a soccer ball.

      In the 1985 paper describing their work, the discoverers chose the whimsical name buckminsterfullerene for 60, after the American architect R. Buckminster Fuller (Fuller, R Buckminster), whose geodesic dome designs have a structure similar to that atom. The discovery of the unique structure of fullerenes, or buckyballs, as this class of carbon compounds came to be known, opened up an entirely new branch of chemistry.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • KROTO, SIR HAROLD WALTER — (1939– ), U.K. chemist and Nobel laureate. He was born in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, the son of refugees from Nazi Germany. When he was one year old, his family moved to Bolton, Lancashire, where he was educated at Bolton School. He graduated with… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Sir Harold Walter Kroto — noun British chemist who with Robert Curl and Richard Smalley discovered fullerenes and opened a new branch of chemistry (born in 1939) • Syn: ↑Kroto, ↑Harold Kroto, ↑Harold W. Kroto • Instance Hypernyms: ↑chemist …   Useful english dictionary

  • Harold Walter Kroto — Harold Kroto Sir Harold Walter Kroto KBE (* 7. Oktober 1939 in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire) ist ein britischer Chemiker mit deutschen Wurzeln. Für die Entdeckung der Fullerene, einer neuen Form des Kohlenstoffs mit kugelförmigen Molekülen erhielt er… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Kroto — Harold Kroto Sir Harold Walter Kroto KBE (* 7. Oktober 1939 in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire) ist ein britischer Chemiker mit deutschen Wurzeln. Für die Entdeckung der Fullerene, einer neuen Form des Kohlenstoffs mit kugelförmigen Molekülen erhielt er… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Harold Kroto — Sir Harold Walter Kroto KBE (* 7. Oktober 1939 in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire) ist ein britischer Chemiker mit deutschen Wurzeln. Für die Entdeckung der Fullerene, einer neuen Form des Kohlenstoffs mit kugelförmigen Molekülen, erhiel …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Harold Kroto — Sir Harold Walter Kroto (7 octobre 1939 à Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, Grande Bretagne) est un chimiste britannique. Robert Curl, Richard Smalley et lui sont colauréats du prix Nobel de chimie de 1996 « pour leur déc …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kroto — Kroto,   Sir Harold W., britischer Chemiker, * Wisbech (Cambridgeshire) 7. 10. 1939; seit 1958 Professor an der University of Sussex in Brighton. Kroto war 1985 an der Entdeckung der Fullerene in kondensiertem Graphitdampf beteiligt und erhielt… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Harold Kroto — noun British chemist who with Robert Curl and Richard Smalley discovered fullerenes and opened a new branch of chemistry (born in 1939) • Syn: ↑Kroto, ↑Harold W. Kroto, ↑Sir Harold Walter Kroto • Instance Hypernyms: ↑chemist …   Useful english dictionary

  • Harold W. Kroto — noun British chemist who with Robert Curl and Richard Smalley discovered fullerenes and opened a new branch of chemistry (born in 1939) • Syn: ↑Kroto, ↑Harold Kroto, ↑Sir Harold Walter Kroto • Instance Hypernyms: ↑chemist …   Useful english dictionary

  • Kroto — noun British chemist who with Robert Curl and Richard Smalley discovered fullerenes and opened a new branch of chemistry (born in 1939) • Syn: ↑Harold Kroto, ↑Harold W. Kroto, ↑Sir Harold Walter Kroto • Instance Hypernyms: ↑chemist …   Useful english dictionary

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