This compendium of accounts reveals the unique perspectives of many scientists who made major contributions to the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of C60 buckminsterfullerene but who have not previously published personal accounts. The introduction attempts to provide a rational framework for understanding how this discovery came about and how firmly it rested on earlier technical breakthroughs and how important were the contributions of researchers who were young students at the time. In addition to these accounts, most of the key publications are also reprinted. More than anything else, this book gives an in-depth overview of how important cross-disciplinary advances from laboratory synthesis, molecular spectroscopy, radioastronomy, stellar chemistry, and cluster chemistry were in the discovery. Indeed, the story shows not only how major breakthroughs are often impossible to predict but also that the discovery is a perfect example of the value of fundamental science and why it must continue to be supported.
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