Inspiring science

Making C60, soot, stars and the DIBs: past: Harry Kroto and Jonathan Hare

Dr Jonathan Hare and Sir Harry Kroto chat about the discovery of C60 and the fullerenes and the exciting times when they were made for the first time.

C60 and Soot: Harry Kroto and Jonathan Hare

Dr Jonathan Hare talks with Sir Harry Kroto about C60 and soot formation. One of Michael Faradays classic works (a chemical history of a candle) was about the candle and its sooting flame, could Faraday have made C60?

Longboard video series

Longboard Part 1 - A skateboard speedometer

We describe an electronic speedometer that can be built to measure the speed of a skateboard, longboard or even a bike. We look at two methods to detect the rotation of a wheel (Infrared and magnetic) to determine the speed.

Keywords: Speed, skateboarding, longboarding, speedometer, electronics, 555 timer chip

More information at: Homemade Speedometer - Creative Science Centre website..

Longboard Part 2 - Some Physics of skateboarding

If you are cycling or skateboarding along at 10 miles per hour what is the speed on the top and bottom of your wheels? The answers are 20 miles per hour and zero which is at first a bit puzzling! We investigate why.

Keywords: skateboarding, longboarding, wheels, mechanics, physics

Longboard Part 3 - Some Chemistry of skateboarding

A skate wheel needs to be lightweight, strong, provide excellent grip yet be flexible and cheap to make - chemistry provides a wonder material - polyurethane!

Keywords: skateboarding, longboarding, wheels, polyurethane, chemistry

Longboard Part 4 - Skate data and analysis

We explain how the skateboard speedometer data can be scaled to calculate your speed in any units you like (mph, km/s, m/s etc). Using a basic spreadsheet program we also show simple integration and differentiation techniques to determine the total distance travelled and the accelerations along the way.

Keywords: skateboarding, longboarding, speed, velocity, acceleration, data analysis, integration, differentiation, spreadsheet

More information at: Simple numerical analysis of Longboard speedometer data - Creative Science Centre website.

Nanotechnology video series

The Carbon Revolution Part 1 - The many forms of carbon

The last 40 years has added Fullerenes (C60), nanotubes and graphene to the pure forms (allotropes) of carbon including diamond and graphite. There have also been two Nobel Prizes awarded for the work. This is the story of the carbon revolution.

Keywords: C60, Nanotubes, Graphene, diamond, graphite, chemistry in space, Nobel Prize


C60, Fullerenes and a Nobel Prize

J. P. Hare, article in Making the Future - a history of the University of Sussex
Ed. Fred Grey, Carnegie Book Prod., 2011. ISBN 9 780904 242690
C60, Fullerenes and a Nobel Prize - Creative Science Centre website.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1996

Fullerenes, Nanotubes and Nobel Prizes: C60 25 years on

J. P. Hare, Ethical Record, Vol. 115, No.7, September 2010
Fullerenes, Nanotubes and Nobel Prizes: 25 years of C60 - Creative Science Centre website.

Special Issue of Chemical Physics Letters - Nobel Prize articles

J P Hare, R Taylor and H W Kroto, Chemical Physics Letters 589 (2013) 56
Preparation and UV/visible spectra of the fullerenes C60 and C70 - Science Direct website.

The Carbon Revolution Part 2 - Making Fullerenes

Here we explain and demonstrate how to make C60 and the fullerenes from the carbon soot produced in a carbon arc evaporator.

Keywords: C60, C70, Fullerenes, carbon arc, carbon soot, helium

Reference: Designing a C60 generator - Creative Science Centre website.

The Carbon Revolution Part 3 - Spectroscopy of the Fullerenes

The C60 football molecule has wonderful symmetry which leads it to have some very unusual and simple spectra. We describe the mass spec, IR, UV and visible and NMR spectra of C60 and C70.

Keywords: C60, C70, spectroscopy, IR, Infrared, UV, visible, NMR, mass spec.

Details of C60 Group theory and IR spectra: Creative Science website

The Carbon Revolution Part 4 - Making a model of C60

It's fun and instructive to make a molecular model of C60 Buckminsterfullerene. Here we guide you through the steps to make up your own structure.

Keywords: C60, molecular models, structures, pentagons, hexagons

Reference: Making a C60, Bucky Ball, Buckminsterfullerene mode - Creative Science Centre website.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1996

The Carbon Revolution Part 5 - Mathematics of carbon structures

Using some basic mathematics including Euler’s law we explore the maths of fullerenes, giant fullerenes, nanotubes and graphene.

Keywords: C60, Nanotubes, Graphene, diamond, graphite, Eulers law

The Carbon Revolution Part 6 - C60 Chemistry

We look at the diverse and interesting chemistry of Buckminsterfullerene including its oxidation state and substitution reactions.

Keywords: C60, fullerene chemistry

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1996

The Carbon Revolution Part 7 - Nanotubes

The basic properties of the three types of nanotubes are explored (arm chair, zig-zag and chiral).

Keywords: C60, Nanotubes, zig-zag, arm chair, chiral, spiral

The Carbon Revolution Part 8 - Fullerene C28

The small Fullerenes below C60 were discovered in 1985 but still haven't been made in test-tube quantities. C28 looks to be a most interesting structure. This is an introduction to C28.

Keywords: C28, small fullerenes, C60

More information about C28: Creative Science website

The Carbon Revolution Part 9 - Graphene

Graphene has been making the headlines before the Nobel Prize was awarded in 2010. It looks like it will revolutionise semiconductor technology and much, much more.

Keywords: C60, graphene, Nobel Prize

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2010