Richard Smalley, US chemist

Richard Smalley, US chemist

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Credit: EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES, Physics Today Collection/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Richard Errett Smalley (1943-2005), US chemist. Smalley was professor of chemistry and physics at Rice University in Houston, USA, where he worked since 1976. As a cluster chemist, Smalley designed a laser-supersonic cluster beam apparatus. With this, he, Harold Kroto and Robert Curl were able to vaporise carbon into a plasma of atoms which formed clusters. In 1985 they first postulated a three-dimensional structure for this new form of carbon (C60) they called fullerenes. In 1996, Smalley and his co-workers shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. His other awards include the Irving Langmuir Award (1991) and the E. O. Lawrence Award (1991).

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