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Fullerenes in popular culture

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The following is a list of references to fullerenes in popular culture.


Fine Art


Physicist-turned-artist Julian Voss-Andreae has created several sculptures symbolizing wave-particle duality in Buckminsterfullerenes[1]. Voss-Andreae participated in research demonstrating that even objects as large as Buckminsterfullerenes obey the peculiar laws of quantum physics[2]. After this, Voss-Andreae switched his career 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 State Park in Oregon (USA). "Quantum Reality (Large Buckyball Around Trees)" (2006) is a 30' (9 m) diameter steel structure embracing two maple trees.


  • Stel Pavlou uses buckyballs, nanotechnology and complexity theory in the creation of flocking nano-swarms that form human-sized golems in the novel Decipher (2001). C60 is said to be the building block of the Lost City of Atlantis.
  • Science fiction writer Neal Stephenson uses buckyballs as nanotechnological containers for things such as rod logic computers in his 1995 cyberpunk/postcyberpunk novel The Diamond Age.
  • 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.
  • A Larry Niven story contains a plot element where somebody (in a spacesuit) gets stuck at the bottom of a pool of buckminsterfullerene.
  • In the novel 3001: The Final Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke, BuckminsterFullerene is mentioned as the substance used to build the massive station-ring around earth and the necessary surface supports to maintain it.
  • In the novel Chaga (U.S. title: Evolution's Shore) by Ian McDonald 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."
  • Used as a highly necessary component in Simon Brewster's travelling machine in Simon Hawke's Reluctant Sorcerer trilogy.
  • The novel, Sandstorm, by James Rollins uses bucky balls as an integral part of the story.


  • In the PC game Civilization: Call to Power, one of the scientific advancements available is a city-encompasing force field of C60 bucky balls.
  • Tagon's Toughs, the Mercenaries in the web comic Schlock Mercenary often use Fullerene Personal Combat Armour worn as regular clothes.
  • 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 the Star Trek fictional universe, the fullerene Carbon-70 is one of the primary constituents of the late 24th century era communicators.


  1. ^ Cartlidge, Edwin (November 1999). "Once a physicist: Julian Voss-Andreae". Physics World: 44.
  2. ^ Arndt, Markus; O. Nairz, J. Voss-Andreae, C. Keller, G. van der Zouw, A. Zeilinger (14 October 1999). "Wave-particle duality of C60". Nature 401: 680-682.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Fullerenes_in_popular_culture". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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