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NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING CHEMIST TO SPEAK
AT CARBON CONFERENCE

By Ralph Derickson

 

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"Sir Harry Kroto is a Nobel Prize-winning chemist who set out to be a graphic designer but went into science because his father thought he should have a proper job and because he was good at it."

--'Science On TV' Web site.

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July 12, 2001 – (Lexington, Ky.) – Harry Kroto, a chemist whose work on Carbon 60 (commonly known as "Bucky Balls") won him a Noble Prize in 1996, will address the 25th American Carbon Society Conference (ACSC) at 9 a.m. Sunday, July 15, in Lexington's Heritage Hall. The University of Kentucky's Center for Applied Energy Research organized this year's conference that is set for July 15-19.

Kroto, who is on the faculty of the University of Sussex, has been described as a scientific humorist.

"Sir Harry Kroto is a Nobel Prize-winning chemist who set out to be a graphic designer but went into science because his father thought he should have a proper job and because he was good at it," according to the "Science on TV" Web site.

Kroto's major contribution to science was the discovery of carbon-chain molecules in space and then, with American scientists Richard Smalley and Robert Curl Jr., the discovery of Carbon 60, which has led to a new branch of chemistry related to carbon fiber and other carbon-based materials.

The appearance of Kroto in Lexington seems appropriate, given that some of the nation's groundbreaking research into carbon materials is taking place at the University of Kentucky. UK is home to several carbon-materials development projects, including methods aimed at economically producing super strong conductive carbon nanotubes for use in electronic appliances and aerospace components. UK's projects were among only a few funded by special grants from the National Science Foundation in 1998. In addition, UK civil engineers are among the nation's leaders in research related to the use of carbon-fiber bridge reinforcements which resist corrosion and are many times stronger than steel. The Federal Highway Administration has funded this work since 1993.

The American Carbon Committee, forerunner of ACSC, was established in 1957 to organize U.S. conferences on carbon. For further information about the conference, search the conference's Web site at www.carbon2001.org.


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