Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Richard Errett Smalley (born June 6, 1943) is a professor of chemistry at Rice University, in Houston, Texas. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996 for the discovery of fullerenes (with Robert Curl, also a professor of chemistry at Rice, and Harold Kroto, a professor at the University of Sussex).
Smalley was born in Akron, Ohio and attended Hope College before transferring to the University of Michigan where he received his B.S. in 1965. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1973.
He is currently working on carbon nanotubes, specifically focusing on the chemical synthesis side of nanotube research. He is well-known for his group's invention of the high-pressure carbon monoxide (HipCO) method of producing large batches of high-quality nanotubes. Dr. Smalley has spun off his work into a company, Carbon Nanotechnologies Inc. and associated nanotechnologies. He is an outspoken critic of the idea of molecular nanomachines, as advocated by K. Eric Drexler. Contrary to popular belief, he is not a critic of molecular technology on any moral or ethical grounds, but rather, Dr. Smalley believes chemical nanotechnology processes are more realistic and thus much more deserving of funding.
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