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|Nobel Prize laureate in Chemistry Prof. Robert F. Curl lectures at Bar-Ilan University|
Prof. Robert F. Curl, Nobel Prize laureate in Chemistry from Rice University in the United States, this afternoon delivered a scientific lecture entitled "Nanoscale Science and Technology of Carbon".
Later today Prof. Curl will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate at a gala award ceremony on campus marking the University's 55th anniversary. Prof. Curl's is being honored for his groundbreaking research which has contributed to the development of nanotechnology into one of the most important emerging technologies of the 21st century, forever changing the landscape of innovative scientific achievement.
A distinguished American chemist and Professor Emeritus at Rice University, Robert Curl was one of three recipients to share the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of the only known molecular forms of pure elemental carbon, the "fullerenes" - which consist of joined rings of carbon atoms closed into hollow cages. This breakthrough has changed our thinking in chemistry and physics, and has important implications for such diverse areas as astrochemistry, superconductivity and materials chemistry/physics.
Robert Curl and co-recipients, Harold W. Kroto and Richard E. Smalley, called the spherical structure "buckminsterfullerene" since it resembles the geodesic dome designed by American architect R. Buckminster Fuller. Novel substances with new and unexpected properties were produced from these "buckyballs" and an entirely new branch of chemistry, nanotechnology - which is the manipulation of subatomic objects - developed as a result. In 1991, Science magazine named buckminsterfullerene "molecule of the year."
The son of a Methodist minister, the Texas-born Curl obtained his undergraduate degree from the Rice Institute in Houston and his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley. In 1958, after a research fellowship at Harvard University, he joined the academic faculty at Rice. A professor of natural sciences, his research has focused on physical chemistry, and particularly high-resolution spectroscopy. Prof. Curl has also received a number of other awards and honors.
At the gala ceremony Bar-Ilan University will confer honorary doctorates upon a number of additional prominent figures from Israel and around the world, including: Justice Prof. Aharon Barak, former President of Israel's Supreme Court; Teva Pharmaceutical Industries founder Eli Hurvitz; Rabbi Chananya Chollak, founding director of the Israel health support organization Ezer Mizion, fellow Nobel Prize laureate in Chemistry Prof. Ada Yonath, of the Weizmann Institute of Science, promoter of Jewish Law Romie Tager QC, of the UK, and others.
The honorary doctorates will be conferred this evening, Tuesday, May 11, 2010 on the Bar-Ilan University campus in Ramat Gan.
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