Robert Curl, Nobel-Winning Chemist, Helped Spur Nanotechnology Boom

-0 cStoSw">When robert curl When he was 9 years old, his parents gave him a chemistry set for Christmas. Although her mother was upset when nitric acid was spilled on the family stove, she got a call.

This gift led to a 64-year career as a researcher and professor at Rice University, where he became available to help in 1985 when a group of scientists used lasers to vaporize graphite, a form of carbon. Did many experiments. They found that carbon repeatedly folded itself into a sphere of 60 atoms, which resembled a very small soccer ball, about 1 billion meters in diameter.