More friends

Information about more of Sir Harry Kroto's friends

Maryam Namazie

View Maryam Namazie's website.

Maryam is a spokesperson for Ex-Muslim.

Paul Wunderlich and Karin Szekessy
Karin Szekessy
Paul Wunderlich
Paul Wunderlich and Karin Szekessy's artwork

Listen to Sir Harry Kroto speak about his all time favourite painting and the couple behind it, Paul Wunderlich and Karin Szekessy.

View photos of Harry Kroto at Wunderlich and Szekessy's studio and their artwork in Kroto's home (PDF, 1.65MB).

Roger Dean

View some of Roger Dean's artwork (PDF, 847KB).

John (Kappa) Cornforth

Video interview with scientist John 'Kappa' Cornforth.

Nobel Laureate and scientist Professor Sir John Cornforth overcomes his deafness to present an elegant account of how he, and his wife Rita, disentangled a historically important puzzle in steroid synthesis.

'Scientists as citizens' by Sir John Cornforth

'Sir John Cornforth (‘Kappa’): Some personal recollections' (PDF, 219KB) by Harry Kroto.

Richard Dixon

Richard was Harry's PhD supervisor at the University of Sheffield.

The carbon monoxide flame bands - an outstanding piece of work.

Breakthrough in quasi linear molecules theory - application to NH2.

Quasi linear molecules theory taken further by Hougen, Bunker and Johns.

Read more about the molecule NCNCS.

Danko Bosanac

View Danko Bosanac's website.

Naresh Dalal

Naresh Dalal – a distinguished scientist and one of Midnight’s Children, an interview with Harry Kroto.

Dalal videos on GEOSET.

Alan Marshall

Five selected publications of Alan George Marshall:

  • M B Comisarow and A G Marshall, 'Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance
    ', Chem. Phys. Lett. 1974, 25, 282-283..

First broadband FT-ICR MS paper. Based on analogy to FT-NMR, which Richard Ernst had introduced eight years earlier. ICR bandwidth was 1000x higher than for NMR - that’s (partly) why it took longer for FT-ICR. 763 ISI citations.

  • A G Marshall, T-C L Wang and T L Ricca, 'Tailored excitation for Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry', J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1985, 107, 7893-7897.

This is the primary reference for what is now known as stored-waveform inverse Fourier transform ("SWIFT") excitation. The optimal method for ion selection and activation in FT-ICR and quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometry. Another analogue to NMR from ~1973. 589 ISI citations.

  • A G Marshall, C L Hendrickson and G S Jackson, 'Fourier transform ion cyclotron
    resonance mass spectrometry: A primer',
     Mass Spectrom. Rev. 1998, 17, 1-35.

The most cited reference for FT-ICR MS. 1,167 ISI citations.

  • J Oomens, N Polfer, D T Moore, A G Marshall, J R Eyler, G Meijer and G von Helden, 'Charge-State Resolved Mid-Infrared Spectroscopy of a Gas-Phase Protein,' Chem. Phys. 2005, 7, 1345-1348.

The first mid-IR spectrum of a gas-phase (ie, totally unsolvated) protein, showing conservation of secondary structure from solution. 127 ISI citations.

  • A G Marshall and R P Rodgers, 'Petroleomics: Chemistry of the Underworld,' Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2008, 105, 18090-18095.

This shows the idea that sufficiently detailed knowledge of the chemical constituents of petroleum enables prediction of its properties and behaviour. It also showed that crude oil components have an average molecular weight of ~800 Da - way lower than most people thought at the time. 171 ISI citations.

Gustav Born

Gustav Born interviewed by Harry Kroto and Edward Goldwyn.

Jo Rotblat

Sir Joseph Rotbalt interviews.

Mike Jura

From graduate school days, I have enjoyed studying regions of cold gas and molecules. I find that the materials are physical conditions are most fascinating.

Mike Jura

Mike Jura said, "I judge that my most significant scientific effort has been my work on polluted white dwarfs. Because of their high gravity, these stars normally have very simple spectra – either pure hydrogen, or, more rarely, pure helium. The usual explanation is that gravitational
settling is so powerful in these stars that heavy elements sink below the outer mixing zone.
There are, however, some conspicuous exceptions. Further, when examined sufficiently
closely, perhaps as many as 50% of these stars are externally-polluted.

There are two obvious sources of this pollution: the interstellar medium and the star’s
own planetary system. Until about ten years ago, the more popular view among the few
people who cared was that we are witnessing interstellar accretion. This is a plausible
theory. Standard accretion theory predicts that the white dwarfs would be polluted by
interstellar matter.

"In 1987, in a search for brown dwarfs, Zuckerman and Becklin discovered an infrared
excess around G29-38. Several years later, Graham et al. showed that the excess is due
to dust, likely from some destroyed parent body. However, they did not have a good idea
how this happened.

"Since 1984, I had been a member for the Science Working Group for the NASA SIRTF
project. In preparation for the launch, I wrote a paper in 2003 proposing that the infrared
excess around G29-38 could be well reproduced by a geometrically thin dust disk that
simply reradiated light from the central star. This disk was computed to be inside the
tidal radius of the white dwarf and the suggestion is that we are witnessing a system where
the tidal destruction of an asteroid has occurred. We now know of about 40 white dwarfs
with dust disks and pollution. The story has become more complex, but the basic scenario

"This paper has proven to be influential and it is now the “standard model” to explain
polluted white dwarfs. What is particularly remarkable about this work is that we now
can measure detailed elemental compositions of extrasolar planetesimals

Some highlights include:

  • The Earth is 98% by mass composed of oxygen, magnesium, silicon and iron. Carbon is less than 0.1% of the mass. Extrasolar planetesimals display a very similar pattern although the relative abundances of the four dominant elements vary.
  • Igneous differentiation appears to have proceeded among many of the parent bodies. That is, there is evidence for the formation of iron cores. We study objects nearly as iron-rich as the planet Mercury and nearly as iron-poor as the Earth’s Moon.

"While I have worked on a number of different projects, the contribution to measuring the
compositions of extrasolar planetesimals will probably be most memorable."

Amand Lucas

'How X-rays cracked the structure of DNA' with Amand Lucas.

Jon Hare

Jon extracted C60 at Sussex the monday before the fantastic paper of Kraetschmer and Huffman landed on Kroto's desk on the following Friday to be refereed! Bad day at Brighton Rock.

View Jon Hare's website and Inspiring Science at the University of Sussex.

Watch Jon Hare's educational videos.

Rough science two - parabola
Rough science three - gold and the metal detector
Rough science six - the pelton wheel
Hollywood science reverse osmosis drinking
Dave Walton

David pioneered the synthesis of very long linear chains of carbon atoms, the polyynes. Carbyne is a mythical creature that people who know nothing about acetylene chemistry think is a real compound. Anyone who may have tried to condense a polyyne without bulky groups on them is probably dead!

'Harry Kroto gets hot under the collar on the subject of so-called carbyne' Chemistry World, 28 October 2010.

Mike Maier

View Mike Maier's CV (PDF, 395KB).

Phil Wyatt

The history of Wyatt Technologies.

APS awards the first industrial physics prize to Philip J Wyatt.

'Importance of physics in industry', Philip Wyatt's GEOSET lecture.

'Wine and Coca Cola: Building a great venture on the ashes of a failure' (PDF, 100KB), Wyatt's abstract.

Russ Johnsen

A video speaking about the first hand account, from 1946, of the tremendous value of Pencillin.

Jeff Leigh

Key contributions:

  • Working in the unique environment of the multidisciplinary Unit (later Laboratory) of Nitrogen Fixation has been a great pleasure and privilege.
  • Preparation of dozens of new dinitrogen complexes, more than any other research group, for example, Chatt, Leigh and Richards (1970) 'Dinitrogen complexes of osmium(II).' J. Chem. Soc. (A), 2243-2246.
  • The discovery of the first reaction of dinitrogen coordinated to a metal ion, rather than its simple displacement. Chatt, Head, Leigh and Pickett (1978) 'Mechanism of alkylation and acylation of dinitrogen coordinated to molybdenum and tungsten', J. Chem. Soc., Dalton Trans., 1638-1647.
  • Initial studies in the electrochemistry of complexes containing coordinated dinitrogen. Leigh and Pickett (1977) 'Electrochemical behaviour of organonitrile dinitrogen complexes of molybdenum(0) and tungsten(0) and the anchoring of a dinitrogen complex to an electrode surface', J. Chem. Soc., Dalton Trans., 1797-1800.
  • The cyclic protonation of dinitrogen coordinated to iron rather than to molybdenum or tungsten. Leigh and Jimenez-Tenorio (1991) 'Exchange of dinitrogen between iron and molybdenum centres and the reduction of dinitrogen bound to iron: implications for the chemistry of nitrogenases', J. Am. Chem. Soc. 113, 5862-5863.
  • The elucidation of the mechanism of the acetylene metathesis reaction which involves carbyne intermediates. Leigh, Rahman and Walton (1982) 'Carbon-carbon triple-bond fission in the homogeneous catalysis of acetylene metathesis', J. Chem. Soc., Chem. Commun., 541-542.


  • Author, Leigh (2004) 'The World’s Greatest Fix', Oxford University Press, (USA).
  • Part author and overall editor, Leigh (ed.) (2002) 'Nitrogen fixation at the millennium', Elsevier, Amsterdam.
  • Leigh (ed.), (2011) 'Principles of Chemical Nomenclature', Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, Oxford.
  • Leigh (ed.) 'Nomenclature of Inorganic Chemistry, Recommendations 1990', Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.
Bill Klemperer

'The chemistry of interstellar space'. William Klemperer video recorded in 1995.

John Murrell

View information about John Murrell on the Early ideas in the history of Quantum Chemistry website.

Listen to John Murrell speaking about his time at Sussex University.

Greeting and reminiscences (PDF, 249KB).

Alec Douglas

Alec was a great guy, he and Phil were very good family friends when we were at NRC. Alec helped me draft the research proposal that got me a post at Bell Labs.

Sir Harry Kroto

"Alec identified CH+ in the ISM and C3 in comets. He also suggested carbon chains might be carriers of the DIBs, a second reason for carrying out the experiments which uncovered the existence of C60 in 1985."

Memoirs of Takeshi Oka (PDF, 166KB), see section three about Alec Douglas.

Jim Heath

Find out more about the Caltech Heath Group.

Sean O'Brien

Sean O'Brien's ResearchGate profile.

David Santry

David and I were at Bell Labs in Yoh Han Pao’s group, 1966-67. He pioneered CNDO theory with Pople and Segal. He taught me computing and was the brains behind our two quantum chemistry publications.

Sir Harry Kroto

Toru Maekawa

Key contributions:

  • Room temperature dissociation of carbon dioxide.

'Dissociation of carbon dioxide and creation of carbon particles and films at room temperature' (PDF, 1.42MB), Takahiro Fukuda, New Journal of Physics.

  • Nano robotics

'Tumbling motion of magnetic particles on a magnetic substrate induced by a rotational magnetic field', APS Physics.

'Activity of Lipase and Chitinase immobilised on superparamagnetic particles in a rotational magnetic field', Plos One.

  • Carbon nano-structures

'Low temperature synthesis of carbon fibres and metal-filling carbon nanoparticles with laser irradiation into near-critical benzene', RSC Advances.

'Synthesis of an ultradense forest of vertically aligned triple-walled carbon nanotubes of uniform diameter and length using hollow catalytic nanoparticles', ACS Publications.

'Precise control of the number of walls of carbon nanotubes of a uniform internal diameter', ACS Publications.

Sam Harris

View Sam Harris' website.

Richard Dawkins

View Richard Dawkins Foundation.

Bob Curl

Reg Colin

Colin Byfleet

Steve Acquah

Penny Gilmer

Don McNaughton

John Nixon

Rich Saykally

Brenda and Manfred Winnewisser

Tony Cheetham

Nori Shinohara

Annaka Harris

Cec Costain

Jon Hougen

Vern Goetz

Graham Davis

Frank McCourt

A global reputation

Sheffield is a research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.