odd traits continue
to stump scientists
By Rachel Ehrenberg
Moses didn’t need a physics degree to know some- thing was afoot when that woody bush burned and
burned but was not consumed. Set fire
to carbon — whether shrubbery, paper
or charcoal briquettes— and it burns
until nothing’s left but carbon dioxide
and water vapor. That’s a fundamental
of carbon chemistry.
Nearly 20 years after their discovery,
nanosized tubes made of carbon exhibit
behaviors that still surprise scientists.