Thursday, November 12, 2009


Buckyballs! How fun is that word? It needs a song - Buckyballs, Buckyballs, won't you be my... maybe not. In case you're wondering what the heck they are, Buckyballs, also known as Fullerines, are carbon clusters that consists of 60 atoms arranged in a formation that resembles the dome dubbed 'geodesic' by Buckminster Fuller. (He did the math.) Apparently this sort of formation was highly unusual:  "It puzzled them (the scientists) because they had no idea how 60 atoms could have arranged themselves so stably. They pondered the conundrum during two weeks of discussion, frequently over Mexican food, before hitting on the solution: one carbon atom must lie at each vertex of 12 pentagons and 20 hexagons arranged like the panels of a soccer ball."  Well, duh.   They named the molecule "buckminsterfullerene"! Just goes to show the power of Mexican food.  For more information:

Author: Yam, Philip
Source:  Scientific American; Sep2009, Vol. 301 Issue 3, p82
accessed through EbscoHost

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