Mathematics & Chemistry 
Nuts, Knots and Vertex Spirals: Three aspects of Fullerenes Prof.
Patrick W. Fowler
The Department of Mathematics and the Department
of Chemistry of the University of Malta in collaboration with the Malta
Chamber of Scientists will be hosting a lecture entitled ‘Nuts, Knots and
Vertex Spirals  Three aspects of Fullerenes’ delivered by Prof.
Patrick W. Fowler, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry, University of
Exeter, UK. This lecture should be of particular interest to chemists and
mathematicians as it will discuss how mathematics (in particularly spectral
graph theory) can be applied to chemistry.
The research of Professor Fowler aims to find an answer to some very important questions such as: How many fullerenes are there? Which fullerenes have a stable systems? Which have greatest overall stability? What are their likely patterns of reactivity? How might they interconvert? The methods used to answer these questions range from simple Huckel theory and graph theory, to semiempirical and ab initio molecular modelling simulations. In fact, many questions about their chemistry can be cast in graphtheoretical form, three subclasses of which are Nutgraphs, Knotgraphs and Vertexspiral graphs. This talk deals with fullerenes whose skeletons can be mathematically described as ‘nut graphs’. (The nutgraph, a notion conceived by Irene Sciriha, has exactly one zero eigenvalue in its adjacency spectrum and no zero entries in the corresponding eigenvector.) In chemistry, a molecular nut graph has a nonbonding orbital with implications for electron distribution and reactivity. Some properties of and constructions for nutfullerenes will be discussed. The lecture will be held on Tuesday, 1st
March 2005, at 1pm in the Chemistry Lecture Room, Department of Chemistry,
University of Malta. Chemists and mathematicians are particularly encouraged
to attend. For further information please contact Dr.
Irene Sciriha (Department of Mathematics, or Dr.
Joseph N. Grima (Department of Chemistry).
