Fullerenes in popular culture
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The following is a list of references to fullerenes in popular culture. A fullerene is a molecule of carbon in the form of a hollow sphere, ellipsoid, tube, and many other shapes. Spherical fullerenes are also called buckyballs, and they resemble the balls used in football (soccer). Cylindrical ones are called carbon nanotubes or buckytubes. Fullerenes are similar in structure to graphite, which is composed of stacked graphene sheets of linked hexagonal rings; but they may also contain pentagonal (or sometimes heptagonal) rings.
Physicist-turned-artist Julian Voss-Andreae has created several sculptures symbolizing wave-particle duality in Buckminsterfullerenes. Voss-Andreae participated in research demonstrating that even objects as large as Buckminsterfullerenes obey the peculiar laws of quantum physics. After this, Voss-Andreae changed careers to become a full-time artist. Since then he has created objects such as a 2' (60 cm) diameter bronze structure called "Quantum Buckyball" (2004) consisting of four nested buckyballs. His largest fullerene-based sculpture is located in a private Park in Portland, Oregon (USA). "Quantum Reality (Large Buckyball Around Trees)" (2007) is a 30' (9 m) diameter steel structure intersected by several trees that grow freely through the structure and support it in mid-air, just above arm's reach.
- In Stel Pavlou's novel Decipher (2001), buckyballs, nanotechnology and complexity theory are used in the creation of flocking nano-swarms that form human-sized golems. C60 is said to be the building block of the Lost City of Atlantis. C900 is mentioned (p. 292), a non-metal magnet.
- In Neal Stephenson's 1995 cyberpunk/postcyberpunk novel The Diamond Age (1995), buckyballs are nanotechnological containers for things such as rod logic computers.
- In Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson, fullerenes of various sizes, "including some thirties," are created in the fall of the first space elevator (a cable of carbon) onto the surface of Mars.
- Buckyballs are used as a barrier in the novella Iron by Poul Anderson, which forms part of the book Man-Kzin Wars by Larry Niven, Poul Anderson and Dean Ing.
- In Arthur C. Clarke's novel 3001: The Final Odyssey, Buckminsterfullerene is the substance used to build the massive station-ring around earth and the necessary surface supports to maintain it.
- In Ian McDonald's novel Chaga (U.S. title: Evolution's Shore) and its sequel Kirinya, the Chaga, an alien lifeform that transforms the landscape of Earth as well as retrovirus-infected animals and humans that come in contact with it, is composed of fullerenes; one character nicknames it the "buckyball jungle."
- In Simon Hawke's Reluctant Sorcerer trilogy, fullerene is a highly necessary component of Simon Brewster's travelling machine.
- Buckyballs are integral to James Rollins's novel Sandstorm.
- In Paul Preuss's novel Core (1993), fullerenes are lubricants which can function in various ways at the extreme pressures and temperatures found within the earth's interior.
- Karl Schroeder's novel Sun of Suns and its sequels feature a man-made fullerene Dyson sphere-like habitat, described as a fullerene balloon.
- In Clive Cussler's novel Sacred Stone, buckyballs are mentioned as a possible vehicle from outer space that could contain alien pathogens.
- In Camille Minichino's 2004 mystery novel The Carbon Murder, buckyball researchers are implicated in a series of murders surrounding a scheme of veterinary and equestrian fraud.
Movies and television
- In the television series Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda, fullerenes are common materials, used in the construction of high-durability objects such as ship hulls and body armor. In addition, in lieu of tractor beams, ships use buckycables to ensnare and pull other ships.
- In the Star Trek fictional universe, the fullerene carbon-70 is one of the primary constituents of the late 24th century communicators.
- In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Firstborn", Worf's son, Alexander, wields a model of a Fullerene.
- In the 2007 remake of The Andromeda Strain, buckyballs are the encapsulating structure around the Andromeda "organism" which collides with the Project Scoop satellite.
- In the massively multiplayer online game Eve Online, exotic fullerene compounds are utilized as a core component in the construction of tech level 3 starships.
- In the PC game Civilization: Call to Power, one of the scientific advancements available is a city-encompassing force field of C60 bucky balls.
- In the online browser-based game Kingdom of Loathing, combat items called "buckyballs" were available during the game's Christmas 2007 event.
- Tagon's Toughs, the mercenaries in the web comic Schlock Mercenary, often use fullerene personal combat armour, worn as regular clothes. The title character, Schlock, is a carbo-silicate amorph whose body consists largely of nanotubes. Fullerenes are also used to store and contain antimatter for use in explosives such as golf ball sized nukes or fulerene doped boomex where an antiproton is prevented to touch normal matter by being 'caged' in the fulerene structure until that is destroyed by the conventional explosive whereupon the explosion is boosted by proton-antiproton annihilation with the obvious result.
- Fullerene prominently features as a material of choice in "future" sections of S.S.D.D webcomic. In "current" time timeline, block of fullerene is used as a bait for MI5 attention.
- In his blog 'Old Scrote's Home', Jake Allsop takes over the education of wildfowl where Konrad Lorentz left off, by teaching Mallard to appreciate nanotechnology.
- On 4 September 2010, Google used an interactively rotatable fullerene C60 as the second 'o' in its logo to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the discovery of the fullerenes.
- Nanotechnology in fiction
- Fullerene, Encyclopædia Britannica on-line
- Cartlidge, Edwin (November 1999). "Once a physicist: Julian Voss-Andreae". Physics World: 44.
- Arndt, Markus; O. Nairz; J. Voss-Andreae; C. Keller; G. van der Zouw; A. Zeilinger (14 October 1999). "Wave-particle duality of C60" (PDF). Nature. 401 (6754): 680–682. Bibcode:1999Natur.401..680A. doi:10.1038/44348. PMID 18494170.
- Voss-Andreae, Julian (2011). "Quantum Sculpture: Art Inspired by the Deeper Nature of Reality" (PDF). Leonardo. 44 (1): 14–20. doi:10.1162/leon_a_00088. Retrieved 2011-11-09.
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