Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Nanotech Surprise: Shooting Lasers at Buckyballs Makes Them Bigger

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the you'll-only-make-them-angry dept.

Shark 74

SchrodingerZ writes "Since 1985, scientists have been trying to determine how Buckyballs (scientifically named Buckminsterfullerene) are created. They are molecules with the formula C60 (a fullerene) that forms a hexagonal sphere of interlocking carbon atoms. 'But how these often highly symmetric, beautiful molecules with extremely fascinating properties form in the first place has been a mystery.' For over three decades the creation of these molecules have baffled the scientific community. Recently researchers at Florida State University, in cooperation with MagLab, have looked deeper into the creation process and determined their origin. It was already known the the process for buckyball creation was under highly energetic conditions over an instant, 'We started with a paste of pre-existing fullerene molecules mixed with carbon and helium, shot it with a laser, and instead of destroying the fullerenes we were surprised to find they'd actually grown.' The fullerenes were able to absorb and incorporate carbon from the surrounding gas. This study will help to illuminate the path towards carbon nanotechnology and extraterrestrial environmental studies, due to buckyball's abundance in extrasolar clouds."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

But wait (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40581981)

This means we can do on Earth what happens in space? Doesn't that mean there's no reason to go into space to mine space-fullerene? How will Space Nutters react to this? I'd better start buying stronger leather straps and more Haloperidol.

Re:But wait (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40582087)

"Doesn't that mean there's no reason to go into space to mine space-fullerene?"

There might be one - low spatial concentration.

Re:But wait (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40582447)

"Doesn't that mean there's no reason to go into space to mine space-fullerene?"

There might be one - low spatial concentration.

There's one GREAT reason. There are no niggers in space. Well except that GNAA film Gay Niggers in Outer Space! But they're the fruity niggers not the gangsta niggers so they're benign enough.

For one moment there (4, Funny)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 2 years ago | (#40582035)

While reading the first sentence, for one moment I thought it was going to end like this:

Since 1985, scientists have been trying to determine how Buckyballs (scientifically named Buckminsterfullerene ) are useful.

Re:For one moment there (4, Informative)

aBaldrich (1692238) | more than 2 years ago | (#40582083)

These tiny little things have wonderful characteristics, for instance they're the biggest kind of matter that has shown wave behaviour. They probably don't have an use in this precise moment. Lasers started just like that: as a 'pointless' curiosity.

Re:For one moment there (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40582105)

They probably don't have an use in this precise moment.

You can shoot lasers at them and they grow! How can that not be a use?

Re:For one moment there (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40582605)

They probably don't have an use in this precise moment.

You can shoot lasers at them and they grow! How can that not be a use?

Calm down. It won't work on your little penis.

Re:For one moment there (3, Funny)

DinDaddy (1168147) | more than 2 years ago | (#40583839)

No, but now we know what will happen when Buckzilla attacks and we attempt to use directed energy weapons against him.

Re:For one moment there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40588911)

.. perhaps if we injected buckyballs into his li'l wee first and 'then' fired the lasers at it...

Re:For one moment there (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40582117)

And look how far they've come! Now we can shoot eyes out with them and discover weird properties of other things of obscure utility! Never wake me up from this world of theoretical bliss.

Re:For one moment there (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40582155)

You forgot about the primary function of lasers in the modern era, cat entertainment.

Re:For one moment there (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40583449)

Due to a recent restructuring of modern epistemology, cat entertainment, seeing things, and Belgium are all considered forms of shooting eyes out.

Re:For one moment there (1)

gruntkowski (1743014) | more than 2 years ago | (#40590109)

So Belgium = cat entertainment? That's pretty cool as I was afraid we were considered being the byproduct of this cat entertainment (hairballs).

Re:Laser Utility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40582217)

Looking solely at fiber optic communication (which uses lasers to send signals down those crazy fibers), you have to grant lasers non-theoretical credits. Beyond that, they make possible barcode scanners, etc.

Re:Laser Utility (4, Informative)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#40582303)

and CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray.
Corrective eye surgery, along with many other types of keyhole surgery.
Laser Welding
LIDAR
Laser Printers
Laser cutting and engraving
and, ofcourse, the Laser Harp http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_harp [wikipedia.org]

Re:Laser Utility (2)

hlavac (914630) | more than 2 years ago | (#40582583)

Holography
Laser ranging
Ignition in modern engines
Point to point communication
Missile guidance systems

Re:Laser Utility (3, Funny)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40583421)

You're still missing one: lasers can be used to calibrate sarcasm detectors to sub-micron accuracy.

Re:Laser Utility (2)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 2 years ago | (#40583729)

You're still missing one: lasers can be used to calibrate sarcasm detectors to sub-micron accuracy.

Oh yeah, that would really be useful.

Re:Laser Utility (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40584045)

You, sir, owe me a new monitor.

The sarcasm detector was 95% to completion in analyzing your post before it (the monitor) caught on fire.

Re:Laser Utility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40589769)

Cat toys
Makes some shiny things colory
Lightsabers (any day now)
Making your mouth look scary, then curiously strange, when it's dark
Makes Sci-fi cooler (see Lightsabers above)

Re:Laser Utility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40595209)

Don't forget the sharks!

Re:For one moment there (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40582161)

Researching them have led us to nanotubes, for example.

Re:For one moment there (3, Funny)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 2 years ago | (#40582437)

You can use them for a nano-bot soccer team.

Supervillains (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40582177)

I'm pretty sure I've seen these used by various supervillains in every possible comic to become stronger by absorbing energy.

Wait, what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40582237)

Is this science? What the heck is this? Why would I want to read factual or interesting issues!? Where did /. go!?

We are the speculative baseless articles I can use to troll around!? Give them back!!!


Kidding!!! Kidding!! Please please read this as a joke!!!!!

Global warming no longer a problem (5, Funny)

turkeyfeathers (843622) | more than 2 years ago | (#40582251)

I knew mankind would find a solution for the so-called "global warming" problem. Since buckyballs absorb carbon when lasers are shot at them, all we need to do is sprinkle buckyballs into the ocean. Then it's just a matter of finding some fish or other marine animal to equip with laser beams to activate them, at which point all the excess carbon dioxide will be incorporated into the buckyballs. Voila! I'll be patenting this idea when my lawyer gets into his office on Monday morning.

Re:Global warming no longer a problem (1)

sphealey (2855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40583125)

Well, we might want to read through the "potential for buckyballs to cause cancer" papers before we charge full-speed ahead on that one. Interdisciplinary thinking and all that.

sPh

Re:Global warming no longer a problem (1)

sir-gold (949031) | more than 2 years ago | (#40583983)

You can't let something like "increased risk of cancer" stand in the way of sharks with frickin laser beams attached to their heads.

Re:Global warming no longer a problem (1)

randyleepublic (1286320) | more than 2 years ago | (#40605609)

Wait! What happens when the sharks jump the buckyballs?

Re:Global warming no longer a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40597659)

You can't just attach any sort of laser to marine animals. They need to be Frickin' Lasers. They're specifically designed to survive all sorts of problems of being exposed to marine environments.

Redundant (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40582261)

I don't know why I bother reading these links anymore. I'm waiting for someone to say how these devices will replace PCs and I have yet to see it. Perhaps some jobs can be easily transitioned over to portable devices and touch screens but dedicate computers have a place into the foreseeable future. Voice recognition technology is still barely better than a joke. Touch is convenient but is a significant limitation on detailed work and speed. The internet revolutionized many jobs and many people spend a good portion of their day using the Internet as an encyclopedia or trouble shooting guide. How many of you (using a PC) have dozens of tabs open right now? My browser has 26 tabs. I have email on another monitor, music playing in the back ground and a large file copy running. I'm not in the cloud. Until the Internet is as stable at my HDD I won't trust my data to a remote storage solution. PCs are not dead and they are not dying anytime soon.

Re:Redundant (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#40605459)

cool story, bro

Cool! (1)

slazzy (864185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40582273)

I've got a dog toy that looks just like a Buckyball

Temporal Distortion (1)

SrLnclt (870345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40582277)

Since 1985.... for over three decades... So when did I step through the temporal doorway? Last time I checked the calendar we still had a couple years before we can try to meet up with Marty McFly.

Re:Temporal Distortion (4, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 2 years ago | (#40582319)

Well, it is over three decades for small units of ten.

what's with the Britannica link? (5, Interesting)

excelsior_gr (969383) | more than 2 years ago | (#40582309)

Sorry, my post is slightly off-topic, but I found this remarkably interesting.

Britannica: Blunt text, almost no pictures, broken into 5 pages, the last two of which are junk. Surrounded by links that claim to be "relevant" (the 3 links on some dudes that are probably working on the topic are, I would say, quite irrelevant if someone wants to learn more on fullerenes and the ones on "carbon" and "cluster" are way too elementary to be of any use) and massive header/footer with yet more junk links. No citations in the article, the "Bibliography" section only lets you submit a publication for consideration without providing any information on what has already been considered and their "Citations" section is about how to cite their own article!

The Wikipedia article on the other hand, is on a single page, with lots of pictures, one of which is animated. There is a far more granular Table of Contents than in Britannica, with a discreet pane on "Nanomaterials" high up (offering elementary knowledge, even a "in popular culture" link) and a footer on "Allotropes of carbon" (offering more in-depth information). Translations in 30+ languages are to be found on the left. And there are 58 citations, a discussion page, 5 "further reading" links that are actually relevant and 10 or so external links, which can be directly translated into traffic that Wikipedia is generously streaming to 3rd party cites.

I have taken Wikipedia for granted for so long. I am SO donating next time.

Re:what's with the Britannica link? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40582489)

Why wait to donate to Wikipedia (actually, the Wikinedia Foundation)? You can give at any time, and don't need to wait for the annoying text at the head of every article (LOL). Although I'm retired, I've given $100/year for the past several years. It's given me at least a $100 in useful information each year. I've also contributed a few articles, although I'm not a fanatic about it; and I corrected a few errors and some kiddie vandalism.

Re:what's with the Britannica link? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40582495)

You missed:

The Britannica article was edited by David R.M. Walton (Emeritus Reader in Chemistry and Director, Fullerene Science Centre, University of Sussex, Brighton, England) and Harold W. Kroto (Professor of Chemistry, University of Sussex, Brighton, England. Winner of 1996 Nobel Prize for Chemistry - and specifically awarded it for his part in discovering fullerene i.e. the subject of the article).

The Wikipedia article was edited by whoever happened to pop along at the time. Ideally those people will have drawn upon reputable sources such as those contributed to by David R.M. Walton and Harold W. Kroto. But you can't be sure without checking the references yourself.

Re:what's with the Britannica link? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40582767)

"edited by" does not mean "created by". For all you know, some $10 an hour worker wrote the article and then asked those two scientists to check whether it was factually correct.

Re:what's with the Britannica link? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40582887)

"edited by" does not mean "created by". For all you know, some $10 an hour worker wrote the article and then asked those two scientists to check whether it was factually correct.

You say that as if the advantage of having two experts check whether an article is correct is a minor issue.

Re:what's with the Britannica link? (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40583131)

"edited by" does not mean "created by". For all you know, some $10 an hour worker wrote the article and then asked those two scientists to check whether it was factually correct.

You say that as if the advantage of having two experts check whether an article is correct is a minor issue.

whatever it is, britannica sucks. I was unable to verify if the kids version on britannica was more useful for general populace than the full version, because it needs a registration. the full one didn't. it's just not good encyclopedia material, if it was edited it was edited badly(I mean formatting, inserting the pictures and so forth and the fact that it's 5 pages but 2 last pages are nothing, seems like it could have been written over a decade ago too).

and actually, a 3rd persons view on the subject would be more valuable for most people right now, since the britannica article focuses mainly on potential world changing applications for fullerene - it's like a sales brochure for what is still lab-vapor-ware(extrapolating uses based on tests done on tiny, tiny amounts that they have been able to create in a lab). so a 3rd party persons practical view on the state of fullerene research and fabbing would much more interesting.

basically it's already at the state where if the lab discovery doesn't lead to actually creating big bundles it's not that interesting, to general, even geeky, populace anyways.

and well, accuracy on minor details doesn't matter that much even here since it's at the state of "it's magically good, if we could only build atomatically perfect structures".

Re:what's with the Britannica link? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40583197)

and actually, a 3rd persons view on the subject would be more valuable for most people right now

So my view, as a third person, is more "valuable" for most people, without them knowing whether anything I say on the matter is true or not? Especially if I provide pictures?

Re:what's with the Britannica link? (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 2 years ago | (#40585471)

So my view, as a third person, is more "valuable" for most people, without them knowing whether anything I say on the matter is true or not? Especially if I provide pictures?

Pictures are especially relevant in today's day and age as most of the current generation of people are very visual, growing up with not just television but video games and more. I'm not exactly a spring chicken here, and I grew up with television myself, where you need to go back to my father (who was born just prior to World War II) who remembers as a kid listening to the serial radio shows that were common before television.

Besides, even very abstract thinking can have graphs, charts, or other visual aids. It takes time and effort to prepare them which is something that would cost money for a commercial publisher like Britannica.

As for the 3rd person overview as opposed to a 1st person article written by the actual discoverer, sometimes it helps to be a little more dispassionate. Quite often if you are close to the subject you have a hard time being objective. There are a couple of articles on Wikipedia that I happen to be a little too close to the subject (one is a good friend who has a Wikipedia article about him... and is notable with secondary reliable sources) as well as a couple of different things where I simply don't participate in the article writing explicitly because I am not being objective. I do participate on the talk pages and try to correct factual errors on those topics and being close to the source I can also provide information and sometimes secondary sources useful for article development that I pass along to other editors who are a bit more distant and certainly more objective to the article than I am.

It is like the difference between an autobiography and a biography. The autobiography tends to gloss over details that may be negative or perhaps overly emphasize certain struggles precisely because you can't really be objective about the topic when you are writing about yourself. This isn't to say that autobiographies should be avoided, as they can be an interesting read and provide some very interesting insights about the life of a person, but they aren't objective and should be viewed with skepticism in terms of their accuracy and objectivity. An objective biography which is written many years later can sometimes pull up facts or information that would never get into an autobiography.

Re:what's with the Britannica link? (5, Interesting)

excelsior_gr (969383) | more than 2 years ago | (#40583025)

Yet the experts neglected putting up pictures showing e.g. how this material actually looks like, although, I am sure, their hard drives must be full of data. And I'm totally not interested in the soccer ball structure, this is the first thing you will see anywhere (just make a Google image-search). The Wikipedia article promptly displays a picture of C60 in crystalline form, a picture of C60 in solution and a SEM picture of fullerite. All pictures I can use in my own works, provided that I follow the instructions of their very permissive licenses. And if I want to be scientific about it, I can always follow the pictures back to the source and cite that directly. And don't even get me started on the Wikipedia article on "Buckminsterfullerene" which offers even more data, including CAS number, and material properties in the "infobox" that has its own citations (a lot of which are also found in my own bookmarks anyway). I'll take rich, traceable information over the dry words of some expert any day of the week.

Re:what's with the Britannica link? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40583247)

That's nice but without reading something written by experts in the field, I have no way of knowing whether anything in the Wikipedia article is true. I can of course follow the references to articles that should be by authoritative sources (assuming that on this subject they haven't decided that newspapers are reliable sources - and believe me that happens) but then I might as well have gone to an authoritative source in the first place.

Re:what's with the Britannica link? (1)

excelsior_gr (969383) | more than 2 years ago | (#40583653)

Nobody said that Wikipedia is the ultimate source of information. But it has become a pretty damn good starting point, especially when compared to other encyclopedias. "Authoritative" sources are rarely encyclopedic. When the information you need becomes more specific, then you start looking in e.g. peer reviewed journals etc.

Re:what's with the Britannica link? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40589621)

Of course! All articles should be written by the high ultimate omniscient universal arbitor of truth and knowledge. It's so obvious, and will give them something to do.

Meanwhile, taking a slightly more rational view, you'll find that truth is a philosophical construct - you'll not find authoritative truth no matter how hard you look, because such a beast does not exist. Knowledge, on the other hand - if you do not wish to apply the scientific method first hand, is usually agreed on by consensus. You shouldn't be treating any single source of information as authoritative, regardless of where you got it from, because sooner or later you will be tripped up - verifying sources for yourself should be standard practise for anyone who isn't intellectually lazy or incompetent.

Re:what's with the Britannica link? (3, Interesting)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | more than 2 years ago | (#40583225)

Last month I attended a lecture by Sir H. Kroto. In that lecture he mentioned that Wikipedia actually has quite good information on the subject of fullerenes, and he added:"And on some occasions it is actually more correct than some of the textbooks". The context in which this was put, was one that he applauded the concept that wikipedia embodies.
Just saying...

Re:what's with the Britannica link? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40583273)

Last month I attended a lecture by Sir H. Kroto. In that lecture he mentioned that Wikipedia actually has quite good information on the subject of fullerenes, and he added:"And on some occasions it is actually more correct than some of the textbooks". The context in which this was put, was one that he applauded the concept that wikipedia embodies.
Just saying...

Fair enough, and I'm happy to believe that. BUT the question was "what's with the Britannica link" and realistically the answer is that without having the credentials to tell whether the Wikipedia article was any good themselves, without having gone to the lecture you did, the choice to put a link to an article contributed to by experts on the matter was an entirely reasonable one.

I still don't know which bits of which historical version of the Wikipedia article are better than which text books.

Re:what's with the Britannica link? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40582915)

hahahaha, you thought Britannica was worth something compared to wikipedia. hahahhahahahhaha

Re:what's with the Britannica link? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40583115)

Sorry, my post is slightly off-topic, but I found this remarkably interesting.

Britannica: Blunt text, almost no pictures, broken into 5 pages, the last two of which are junk. Surrounded by links that claim to be "relevant" (the 3 links on some dudes that are probably working on the topic are, I would say, quite irrelevant if someone wants to learn more on fullerenes and the ones on "carbon" and "cluster" are way too elementary to be of any use) and massive header/footer with yet more junk links. No citations in the article, the "Bibliography" section only lets you submit a publication for consideration without providing any information on what has already been considered and their "Citations" section is about how to cite their own article!

The Wikipedia article on the other hand, is on a single page, with lots of pictures, one of which is animated. There is a far more granular Table of Contents than in Britannica, with a discreet pane on "Nanomaterials" high up (offering elementary knowledge, even a "in popular culture" link) and a footer on "Allotropes of carbon" (offering more in-depth information). Translations in 30+ languages are to be found on the left. And there are 58 citations, a discussion page, 5 "further reading" links that are actually relevant and 10 or so external links, which can be directly translated into traffic that Wikipedia is generously streaming to 3rd party cites.

I have taken Wikipedia for granted for so long. I am SO donating next time.

What is the point of debating which has prettier content? You shouldn't rely on a single source and ESPECIALLY not wikipedia by itself. It doesn't matter if it's your first or second, or last stop, just don't make wikipedia your only stop PLEASE. It needs editors, not anonymous ones, and with intimate familiarity of the subject matter.

Re:what's with the Britannica link? (1)

Freedel (2576405) | more than 2 years ago | (#40584155)

I just figured it would be more professional and credible not to cite Wikipedia. Just think about the Paul Revere story when Sarah Palin messed it up.

Re:what's with the Britannica link? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40586665)

Well, you figured wrong. Britannica sucks.

Shooting lasers at anything is awesome (1)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 2 years ago | (#40582431)

What if you keep shooting lasers at 'em will they keep growing? I'll find out, get me a laser and some of these buckyball things.

When you have a laser, everything looks like a buckyball.

Re:Shooting lasers at anything is awesome (1)

mianne (965568) | more than 2 years ago | (#40582933)

1) Go to your nearest big box retailer.
2) Buy Soccer ball and a laser pointer.
3) ????
4) Profit!

Re:Shooting lasers at anything is awesome (1)

Spykk (823586) | more than 2 years ago | (#40583647)

It sounds like you didn't heed the warning about your remaining eye...

buckyBALLS Enlargenhent (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40582821)

THE FIRST ALL-IN-ONE
Male Performance Enhancer AND BuckyBALLS Enlargement
WITH THE TRADEMARKED SWEDISH INGREDIENT CRETIN-MAKER
LASER tecnology, as seen on TV.

http://www.BuckyPerformance.com

CLIHCK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW TO RECEIVE YOUR FREE 1
MONTH SUPPY WITH THIS INTRODUCTORY OFFER!!

In the words of Google Translate... (1)

BaGGyGCX (560967) | more than 2 years ago | (#40583049)

... and Chinese (Simplified) http://translate.google.com/#auto [google.com] |zh-CN|Buckminsterfullerene and click the "Listen" button for some prepubescent humor...

Re:In the words of Google Translate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40583077)

Fixed your link. [google.com]

Buckyball growth (2)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#40583325)

If lasers make them grow, is there a limit? Can we control their growth such that they grow, say, into a cylinder? Or a bilayer sheet? If so, then can we do it in some other way than with lasers? Is it fast?

This could revolutionize the production of ultra-useful carbon allotropes.

I just heard the scream of ten thousand nerds ... (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#40583419)

As they found out much to their pain and horror that it doesn't work as a penis enlarging technique.

Re:I just heard the scream of ten thousand nerds . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40584291)

You're supposed to use an inanimate carbon rod.

When i read the summary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40583619)

Transformers, robots in disguise... seriously for a second, if this could be embedded into a polymer with fiber optic hookups then all manner of mobile polymers is possible. Rubber suits for the disabled that augment muscle strength. Next gen aircraft with dynamic surface movement. This is really neat.

Huh? I don't get it. (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 2 years ago | (#40584041)

"C60 (a fullerene ) that forms a hexagonal sphere of interlocking carbon atoms"

But I thought Carbon was 12. So, if it's a hexagon, wouldn't it be C72?

Re:Huh? I don't get it. (2)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 2 years ago | (#40585683)

I'm guessing they just used 15 blocks of C4 [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Huh? I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40586509)

C60 refers to the number of carbons, not its atomic number. If they were referring to its atomic number they might have used a nuclide symbol.

Re:Huh? I don't get it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40589659)

Carbon atomic nucleus on average consists of 12 nucleons, so its atomic mass (and place in Periodic System) is 12. A fullerene is a carbon molecule consisting of 60 carbon atoms. Its molar mass is 12*60 = 720.

Slightly OT (3, Insightful)

argosian (905196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40584101)

"For over three decades the creation of these molecules have baffled the scientific community."

Statements like this are rather disingenuous to the scientific community and fail to accurately depict the scientific process. Certainly there are a large number of "baffling" topics under investigation, but I wouldn't necessarily characterize the investigators as being "baffled". The overuse of this word in the context of science reporting seems to imply inept bumbling rather than the actual methodical (and occasionally inspired) process of scientific investigation (observe->hypothesize->predict->experiment->evaluate->refine). Certainly, many hypotheses are created, tested and found wanting for any number of reasons, but the very fact that an hypothesis has been falsified or found to be incomplete adds to our knowledge of what isn't so, and narrows the field of possible explanations.

Certainly, some instances (such as the summary blurb above) can be explained away as laziness in reporting and the desire to reach the lowest common denominator. However, this popular media representation of "baffled" scientists is easily hijacked for the mis-characterization of inconvenient findings by politically, financially or ideologically motivated groups. Couple with the joyful glee with which young earth creationists, ufologists, ghost hunters, psi investigators, AGW denialists and other pseudo- or anti-science proponents claim that science is "baffled" by (or worse, suppressing) their various claims, it is no wonder that a frighteningly large number of people have little understanding of the scientific method, little trust in the scientific enterprise, little appreciation of the degree to which their lives have been improved by science and almost no concept of the time and effort required to move from an observation to a consistent theory to explain it or a practical application of a discovered principle. Scientific literacy seems to be trending sharply downward (at least here in the US, but probably many other countries as well), and the general population is less and less equipped for critically evaluating the endless stream of claims and counter-claims that appear in the marketplace of ideas. Perpetuating the baffled scientist meme is not particularly helpful in combating this trend.

Granted, this article is a single example, and the case is rather benign, but I am increasingly dismayed by the inaccurate use of "baffled" in science reporting and felt I had to make my case. Perhaps a better statement would have been "The creation of these molecules has been a topic of intense investigation by the scientific community since their discovery in 1985"

Obligatory Doctor Who observation (1)

Narrowband (2602733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40584235)

Well, we now know what "living metal" the Robot was made out of in that old Tom Baker episode. They shot it with a laser, and it grew. Ergo, fullerenes.

Nanotech Surprise: Shooting Lasers at Buckyballs M (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40585321)

They make mine bigger, too ! But, it sure hurts ! LOL !

No surprise... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40585335)

Those of us who had microwave ovens in the seventies pioneered this technique when we nuked marshmellows...

(Try it... and start of with big ones!)

Shields! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40586353)

Just make your hull out of buckballs with a mass of carbon floating around... Maybe magnetically attracted to the hull. The more they shoot, the bigger you get.

Just watch out for plasma torpedoes.

google dont do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40586599)

dont google buckyballs without strict image search

Shooting it makes it bigger? (3, Funny)

Trogre (513942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40587231)

Just let me be the first to say:
Evil begets evil, Mr President.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?