R.I.P. Harry Kroto (1939-2016)

What sad news. The discovery of C60 was game-changing, and I remember doing a piece of work on it during my undergraduate degree.

In the Dark

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I heard earlier this afternoon of the death at the age of 76 of the distinguished chemist Sir Harry Kroto.

Along with Robert Curl and Richard Smalley, Harry Kroto was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1996 for the discovery of the C60 structure that became known as Buckminsterfullerene (or the “Buckyball” for short).

Harry had a long association with the University of Sussex and was a regular visitor to the Falmer campus even after he moved to the USA.

I remember first meeting him in the 1988 when, as a new postdoc fresh out of my PhD, I had just taken over organising the Friday seminars for the Astronomy Centre. One speaker called off his talk just an hour before it was due to start so I asked if anyone could suggest someone on campus who might stand in. Someone suggested Harry, whose office was nearby in the…

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