- Harold Kroto
name = Harold Kroto
image_size = 180px
birth_date = birth date and age|1939|10|07|df=y
Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England
Florida State University University of Sussex
University of Sheffield
Nobel Prize in Chemistryin 1996
He is currently on faculty at
Florida State University, which he joined in 2004, and prior to that he spent a large part of his working career at the University of Sussex, where he holds an emeritus professorship.
He was born Harold Krotoschiner in
Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, Englandwith his unusual name being of Silesian origin. His father's family came from Bojanowo, Poland, and his mother's from Berlin, Germany. Both his parents were born in Berlin but came to Great Britain in the 1930s as refugeesfrom the Nazis because his father was Jewish.
He was raised in Bolton, Lancashire ,
England, and attended Bolton School, where he was a contemporary of the highly acclaimed actor Sir Ian McKellen. In 1955, the family name was shortened to Kroto.
As a child, he became fascinated by a
Meccanoset. Kroto credits Meccano — amongst other things — with developing skills useful in scientific research[ [http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1996/kroto-autobio.html Kroto Nobel Prize autobiography] ] . He was raised Jewish, but the religion never made any sense to him.
In 1961 he obtained a first class BSc honours degree in
chemistryat the University of Sheffield, followed in 1964 by a PhD at the same institution. His doctoral research involved high-resolution electronic spectra of free radicals produced by flash photolysis(breaking of chemical bonds by light).
Among other things such as making the first phosphaalkenes (compounds with carbon phosphorus double bonds), his doctoral studies included some unpublished research on
carbon suboxide, O=C=C=C=O, and this led to a general interest in molecules containing chains of carbon atoms with numerous multiple bonds. He started his work with an interest in organic chemistry, but when he learned about spectroscopyit inclined him to quantum chemistry.
After postdoctoral research at the National Research Council in
Canadaand Bell Laboratoriesin the USA he began teaching and research at the University of Sussexin England in 1967. He became a full professor in 1985, and a Royal Society Research Professor from 1991 – 2001.
In the 1970s he launched a research programme at Sussex to look for
carbonchains in interstellar space. Earlier studies had detected the molecule cyanoacetylene, H-C≡C-C≡N. Kroto's group searched for spectral evidence of longer similar molecules such as cyanobutadiyne, H-C≡C-C≡C-C≡N and cyanohexatriyne, H-C≡C-C≡C-C≡C-C≡N, and found them from 1975–1978.
Trying to explain them led to the discovery of the C60 molecule. (See
buckminsterfullerene.) He heard of laser spectroscopywork being done by Richard Smalleyand Robert Curlat Rice Universityin Texas. He suggested that they should use the Rice apparatus to simulate the carbon chemistry that occurs in the atmosphere of a carbon star.
The experiment carried out in September 1985 not only proved that carbon stars could produce the chains but revealed an amazing, serendipitous result - the existence of the C60 species. The three scientists carried out the work with
graduate students Jim Heath (now a full Professor at Caltech), Sean O'Brien (now at Texas Instruments), and Yuan Liu (now at Oak Ridge). The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was shared by Curl, Kroto and Smalley in 1996.
In 1995 he jointly set up the Vega Science Trust a UK educational charity (see [http://www.vega.org.uk www.vega.org.uk] ) to create high quality science films including lectures, interviews with Nobel Laureates, discussion programmes, careers and teaching resources for TV and Internet Broadcast. Vega has produced some 100 plus programmes of which 50 have been broadcast on BBC TV in late-night slots. Additionally, all programmes stream for free from the Vega website which acts as a TV science channel. Viewing figures on terrestrial TV vary from 300,000 to 700,000. The website which is accessed by over 165 countries is designed by Harry Kroto and shows his other main interest - graphic design.
Kroto currently researches at Florida State University where it is widely known that he is lobbying Florida State University President T.K. Wetherell to make Bobby Bowden "dissappear" or else he will leave the University and take his grant money with him. Citing their lack of chemistry and saying "this university is not big enough for the both of us." [Best, R. (2006), Clash of the Titans. FSView July, 10, 2006] ] . He presently carries out research in
He attended and was a speaker at the symposia in 2006 and 2007.
Kroto now declares four "religions":
humanism, atheism, amnesty-internationalism and humourism. He developed an interest in chemistry, physics, and mathematicsin secondary school, and because his sixth formchemistry teacher ( Harry Heaney- who subsequently became a University Professor) felt that the University of Sheffieldhad the best chemistry department in the United Kingdom, he went to Sheffield.
In 1963 he married Margaret Henrietta Hunter, also a student at the University.
Honours and awards
He awarded Richard Strutt the King Edward VI College VIth Form Chemistry Prize 1995. He is also a member of the Board of Scientific Governors at
The Scripps Research Institute.
* [http://nobelprize.org/chemistry/laureates/1996/kroto-autobio.html Harry Kroto autobiography from Nobel foundation]
* [http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/page.asp?id=1527 Sir Harry Kroto FRS - Chemical architecture] from the
* [http://www.sussex.ac.uk/chemistry/profile1523.html Harry Kroto homepage at the University of Sussex]
* [http://www.open2.net/science/mscstudents/kroto/kroto_ind.htm Professor Harry Kroto]
* [http://www.vega.org.uk/ Vega Science Trust]
* [http://www.kroto.info/ Harry Kroto personal website]
* [http://www.fsu.edu/profiles/kroto/ Florida State University page]
* [http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ University of Sheffield]
* [http://www.shef.ac.uk/northcampus/businessincubator/ Kroto Incubator]
* [http://www.krotoresearchcampus.com/ Kroto Research Campus]
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Harold Kroto — Sir Harold Walter Kroto KBE (* 7. Oktober 1939 in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire) ist ein britischer Chemiker mit deutschen Wurzeln. Für die Entdeckung der Fullerene, einer neuen Form des Kohlenstoffs mit kugelförmigen Molekülen, erhiel … Deutsch Wikipedia
Harold Kroto — Sir Harold Walter Kroto (7 octobre 1939 à Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, Grande Bretagne) est un chimiste britannique. Robert Curl, Richard Smalley et lui sont colauréats du prix Nobel de chimie de 1996 « pour leur déc … Wikipédia en Français
Harold Kroto — Harold Kroto. Harold Walter Kroto o Harold Krotoschiner (Wisbech, Inglaterra, 7 de octubre de 1939) es un químico y profesor universitario inglés galardonado con el Premio Nobel de Química del año 1996. Biografía Nació … Wikipedia Español
Harold Kroto — noun British chemist who with Robert Curl and Richard Smalley discovered fullerenes and opened a new branch of chemistry (born in 1939) • Syn: ↑Kroto, ↑Harold W. Kroto, ↑Sir Harold Walter Kroto • Instance Hypernyms: ↑chemist … Useful english dictionary
Harold Walter Kroto — Harold Kroto Sir Harold Walter Kroto KBE (* 7. Oktober 1939 in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire) ist ein britischer Chemiker mit deutschen Wurzeln. Für die Entdeckung der Fullerene, einer neuen Form des Kohlenstoffs mit kugelförmigen Molekülen erhielt er… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Kroto — Harold Kroto Sir Harold Walter Kroto KBE (* 7. Oktober 1939 in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire) ist ein britischer Chemiker mit deutschen Wurzeln. Für die Entdeckung der Fullerene, einer neuen Form des Kohlenstoffs mit kugelförmigen Molekülen erhielt er… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Harold W. Kroto — noun British chemist who with Robert Curl and Richard Smalley discovered fullerenes and opened a new branch of chemistry (born in 1939) • Syn: ↑Kroto, ↑Harold Kroto, ↑Sir Harold Walter Kroto • Instance Hypernyms: ↑chemist … Useful english dictionary
Kroto — noun British chemist who with Robert Curl and Richard Smalley discovered fullerenes and opened a new branch of chemistry (born in 1939) • Syn: ↑Harold Kroto, ↑Harold W. Kroto, ↑Sir Harold Walter Kroto • Instance Hypernyms: ↑chemist … Useful english dictionary
KROTO, SIR HAROLD WALTER — (1939– ), U.K. chemist and Nobel laureate. He was born in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, the son of refugees from Nazi Germany. When he was one year old, his family moved to Bolton, Lancashire, where he was educated at Bolton School. He graduated with… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Kroto — Kroto, Sir Harold W., britischer Chemiker, * Wisbech (Cambridgeshire) 7. 10. 1939; seit 1958 Professor an der University of Sussex in Brighton. Kroto war 1985 an der Entdeckung der Fullerene in kondensiertem Graphitdampf beteiligt und erhielt… … Universal-Lexikon