from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An extremely stable, ball-shaped carbon molecule, C60, reminiscent of a geodesic dome, and believed to occur naturally in soot. It was the first fullerene to be discovered.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. an allotrope of carbon having a hollow molecule consisting of 60 atoms arranged in 12 pentagonal and 20 hexagonal faces to form a truncated icosahedron; the smallest of the fullerenes
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a spheroidal fullerene; the first known example of a fullerene
To understand how the carbon atoms in buckminsterfullerene are connected to each other, we need only recall the pattern on the surface of a soccer ball, or European football.
The buckminsterfullerene was the first molecule to be discovered in the class of materials that subsequently became known as fullerenes.
Tom LetourneauCumberland, R. I.Chemists Get the CreditYour June 30 story "Bucky's Very Large Dome" on Buckminster Fuller stated that "physicists discovered the soccer-ball-shaped carbon C60 molecule" and named it "buckminsterfullerene" for its resemblance to Fuller's geodesic domes.
In 1985, a group of chemists discovered a new class of soccer-ball-shaped carbon molecules that they dubbed "buckminsterfullerene," or "buckyballs."
Interactive Google doodle marks 25 years since discovery of buckminsterfullerene C60, or the buckyball
However, after Rice University professors Robert Curl and Richard Smalley won the Nobel Prize (with Harold Kroto of the University of Sussex) for the discovery of buckminsterfullerene, Rice started a major research effort in nanoscale science and technology.
Nanomaterials including buckminsterfullerene have toxicity issues, but on the other hand, they have all kinds of environmental and biomedical uses.
They dubbed it buckminsterfullerene -- or "bucky ball" to its fans.
In 1999 atoms of an extremely heavy isotope of carbon, known as “buckminsterfullerene” were shown to be capable of entanglement: they proved to have wave properties as well as corpuscular properties.
Only in America can a man with the mental prowess to discover what was to be only the third form of pure-carbon molecule known to man, also lack the creativity to come up with a better name than buckminsterfullerene or “buckyballs”.
Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.