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Nobel Winner Richard Smalley Died Today

danarhea

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Richard Smalley was a chemist at Rice University, here in Houston, who won the Nobel prize for his discovery of "buckyballs", or as it is scientifically known, buckminsterfullerenes. These compounds, and variations known as nanotubes, are part of what is now launching the nanotechnology movement.

The death of Smalley affects me in a personal way too. He was one of our residential HVAC clients. Smalley was a great mind, but no snob. He didnt mind talking with ordinary people such as air conditioning contractors and technicians. I last spoke with his wife a couple of months ago, and was ready to take up an invitation to chat with him about a new breakthrough in construction using nanotechnology he was working on, but fell out of touch after that. I didnt know why until today, when I heard on the news that he died of cancer. You wouldnt have known he had cancer by looking at him, and he never said a word about it to anyone.

His death is a big shock to many. In the future, when buildings are being erected which are many times as strong as steel, but which weigh a fraction of what steel weighs, those buildings will have Smalley's fingerprints all over them.

Rest in peace.
 
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