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Unusual Molecules: Buckyballs

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Unusual Molecules: Buckyballs
Print Unusual Molecules: Buckyballs Reading Comprehension


Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 8 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.44

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    atom-sized, Buckminsterfullerene, buckyball, buckyballs, fullerenes, geodesic, correspond, hypothesis, discovery, soot, architect, interesting, researchers, series, chemistry, experiment
     content words:    Robert Curl, Harold Kroto, Richard Smalley, Buckminster Fuller, Nobel Prize


Unusual Molecules: Buckyballs
By Cindy Grigg
  

1     Caption: A 3D model of a en:C60 molecule, also called a "Buckyball".
 
2     In 1985, scientists found a new kind of molecule. In a lab experiment, light from a laser was projected onto a piece of graphite (just like the "lead" in your pencil). The laser's energy caused the carbon atoms of the graphite to burn. In the soot that was left, scientists Robert Curl, Harold Kroto, and Richard Smalley found a completely new kind of molecule- the "buckyball"!
 
3     Buckyballs were named for the architect Buckminster Fuller. The carbon molecules look like the geodesic domes that were often used in the architect's work. Fuller used a series of interlocking hexagons and pentagons to build his geodesic domes. The design distributes weight evenly and gives great stability. It is the only architectural design that gets stronger as it increases in size.

Paragraphs 4 to 8:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable



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