The Most Beautiful Molecule: The Discovery of the Buckyball

The Most Beautiful Molecule: The Discovery of the Buckyball

by Hugh Aldersey-Williams, Aldersey-Wil
     
 

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Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Science and Technology "Very well-written and rewarding … an excellent account of the story." —Nature Ten years ago, the discovery of buckminsterfullerene, a previously unknown form of carbon, stunned the scientific community, as much for the discovery itself as for the manner in which it came

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Overview

Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Science and Technology "Very well-written and rewarding … an excellent account of the story." —Nature Ten years ago, the discovery of buckminsterfullerene, a previously unknown form of carbon, stunned the scientific community, as much for the discovery itself as for the manner in which it came about. In the words of author Hugh Aldersey-Williams. it was an example of "classic bootleg science. The work was done on the back of other, funded projects, and when time would allow. Yet its commercial implications are probably immense." Now, in a lively account, The Most Beautiful Molecule chronicles the events leading up to this momentous discovery and the ongoing, often frenzied aftermath. Hugh Aldersey-Williams leads us on a thrilling expedition to the very forefront of modern chemistry research.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In the last ten years, buckminsterfullerene-better known as the buckyball-has become a celebrity among chemicals. Part of the reason is its eye-catching structure, which is shaped like a soccer ball, but it is also scientifically intriguing. Although the author (a frequent contributor to popular science periodicals) suggests that it represents one of the greatest discoveries in chemistry, he admits it has not yet delivered on part of its potential, especially for commercial applications. Nonetheless, he presents a lively and colorful story of the research in the field as well as the personalities, pressures, and conflicts. Scientists may prefer the more thorough treatment of the topic in Jim Baggott's Perfect Symmetry: The Accidental Discovery of a New Form of Carbon (Oxford Univ. Pr., 1994), but anyone interested in the current events of science will find this book entertaining and informative. Recommended for public and academic libraries.-Jan Williams, Monsanto Co., St. Louis
Booknews
A lively account of the bootleg science leading up to discovery of buckminsterfullerene (named after Richard Buckminster Fuller for its resemblance to his geodesic domes), a previously unknown form of carbon, and the ongoing aftermath. Explains how discovery of the molecule rocked the scientific community, and examines the race among scientists to develop its potential uses in medicine and nanotechnology (construction of microscopic machines out of molecules). For general readers. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780471193333
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
10/21/1997
Pages:
340
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.79(d)

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