Jim Baggott

Perfect Symmetry

In Perfect Symmetry Jim Baggott looks at the surprising discovery of buckminsterfullerine. Starting from some mysterious bands in some astronomical spectra, he goes on to explain how scientists experimenting with arcs between graphite rods began to notice strange forms of carbon. There was plenty of speculation as to its nature, but at first the idea of a sphere - or buckyball, named after the geodesic domes designed by Buckmisnter Fuller - seemed to be too far out to be true - but it was. And then, after patents had been obtained on intricate methods of producing this strange substance, it was found that it was often present in ordinary soot.

I felt that the first part of the book, which traces the rivalries between different groups working on fullerenes, was hard to follow at times. I found it difficult to remember which group each of the people was working in and I feel Baggott could have done more to help the reader. The later part of the book doesn't suffer from this problem. It looks at the applications of fullerenes and related molecules, such as high-temperature superconductors and carbon nanotubes. Baggott also shows that there's plenty more work to be done on these intruiging molecules.

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Hardcover 328 pages  
ISBN: 0198557906
Salesrank: 3342651
Published: 1995 Oxford University Press
Marketplace:New from $60.35:Used from $4.99
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 326 pages  
ISBN: 0198557906
Salesrank: 1853199
Weight:1.5 lbs
Published: 1994 Oxford University Press
Marketplace:New from £61.41:Used from £2.50
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Amazon.ca info
Hardcover 326 pages  
ISBN: 0198557906
Salesrank: 3270291
Weight:1.5 lbs
Published: 1995 Oxford Univ Pr
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 82.54:Used from CDN$ 26.76
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Product Description
This book tells the fascinating story of the discovery of buckminsterfullerene, a perfectly symmetrical soccer-ball shaped molecule composed of 60 carbon atoms. This new molecule, one of a large family of carbon cage molecules called "fullerenes"--represents a new form of carbon, complementing such well-known materials as diamond and graphite. Its discovery has revolutionized our understanding of carbon, once the most familiar elements. It has heralded a new chemistry, a new range of high-temperature superconductors and some marvelous new concepts in the architecture of large carbon structures. In this account, prize-winning science writer Jim Baggott tells the compelling story of buckminsterfullerene, from its natural occurrence in the cold chemistry of interstellar clouds to its accidental, stunning creation in a modern chemistry laboratory, and the subsequent development of one of today's fastest-growing scientific fields. By combining a lucid and entertaining style with scientific accuracy, the author has written a book that will appeal to general readers and chemists alike.