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Ray-traced picture of a bond-and-stick model of a C-60
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Ray-traced picture of a bond-and-stick model of a C-60 Buckminsterfullerene molecule.

May 4, 2010
Ray-traced picture of a bond-and-stick model of a C-60 Buckminsterfullerene molecule. C-60 Buckminsterfullerene is a naturally-occurring form of carbon with 60 carbon atoms per molecule, arranged in the structure of a soccer ball. It is named after the architect R. Buckminster Fuller, who designed "geodesic spheres" that happen to have the exact structure of C-60 molecules.

The model shown in this picture is not based on the actual chemical structure of C-60, but on atom positions generated in the spirit of R. Buckminster Fuller by subdividing a regular dodecahedron. The model was generated by placing spheres at atom positions and cylinders along atom-atom bonds. The image was generated by ray-tracing the model with a reflective surface floating on top of a checkerboard. The ray-tracing algorithm used point light sources and adaptive anti-aliasing. (Year of image: 2000)


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