The roundest, and (according to some) the most beautiful of all known molecules - possibly one of the most useful too.
A buckyball is a spherical molecule made entirely of carbon atoms. Although there are many sizes, the most common buckyball consists of 60 carbon atoms (C60).
Discovered in 1985, buckyballs were named after R. Buckminister Fuller, because they resembled the Geodesic Domes he popularized.
Hailed as a breakthrough, buckyballs have exciting applications in everything from medical research to optics, metallurgy, electronics and energy.
Use this Zometool modelling kit to build your very own buckyball molecule. Kit includes 90 strutes and 60 nodes; 150 parts in total. It is compatible with all other Zometool kits.
Buckey Ball Zometool Kit. Includes 150 parts (90 struts, and 60 nodes), and detailed instructions. Molecule measures approximately 30cm in diameter when built.
Zometool: the building toy for kids, educators and Nobel Prize winners. Zometool activates that hard-to-reach part of the brain where art, science and play come together. A unique, brilliant and beautiful modelling system that kids, educators and scientists LOVE! Zometool is guaranteed for life, and is compatible with all other Zometool kits - more parts, more power!
Like a soccer ball (a truncated icosahedron), the buckeyball molecule is made of 32 'flat' shapes (polygons): 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons. It has 60 corners (vertices) made of carbon atoms, and 90 edges, the bonds between the carbons.
A buckeyball has much more in common with a soccer ball than just looks. It spins, bounces against hard surfaces,and when squeezed and released, springs back to its original shape. Buckeyballs are lighter than plastic, but stronger than steel: they are so strong, they've survived 15,000mph collisions!
The 1985 discovery of the C60 molecule won Harold Kroto, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. It also gave birth to a new field of chemistry, given to the exploration of fullerenes.
- Structure, shape and molecules
WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD – Small Parts. Not for children under 3 years.