Skip to comments.Two Win Nobel for Work on Ultra-Thin Material
Posted on 10/05/2010 6:56:31 AM PDT by Pan_Yan
A pair of Russian-born physicists working at the University of Manchester in England have won the Nobel prize in physics for investigating the remarkable properties of ultra-thin carbon flakes known as graphene, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Tuesday.
They are Andre Geim, 51, and Konstantin Novoselov, 36. They will split the prize of about $1.4 million.
Graphene is a form of carbon in which the atoms are arranged in a flat hexagon lattice like microscopic chicken wire, a single atom thick. It is not only the thinnest material in the world, but also the strongest: a sheet of it stretched over a coffee cup could support the weight of a truck bearing down on a pencil point.
Among its other properties, graphene is able to conduct electricity and heat better than any other known material, and it is completely transparent. Physicists say that eventually it could rival silicon as a basis for computer chips, serve as a sensitive pollution-monitoring material, improve flat screen televisions, and enable the creation of new materials and novel tests of quantum weirdness, among other things.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
It is exactly what is wrong with science and academia. It has no current practical use. But hundreds of scientists have spent millions of dollars reserching its 'potential'. No questions answered. No problems solved. Just exciting potential and millions more gone.
Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades. In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present -- and is gravely to be regarded.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
“a sheet of it stretched over a coffee cup could support the weight of a truck bearing down on a pencil point. “
You have no idea how may times I’ve needed to support a truck balanced on a pencil point over a coffee cup!!!
This is exciting news to me, and those like me!!!
Researchers messed around with carbon fiber for 20 years before it became economically viable. Research of carbon products is some of the most promising in the world. Many industries will be revolutionized if someone figures out how to make carbon nanotubes in sufficient quantity and quality at an affordable price. The first large-scale crude use has already produced a 54’ boat that only weighs four tons.
So, how many of these things are going to be given to THE 1 this year? I’m sure he’s up for several categories.
I guess the scienced is OK, but I’d rather see them work towards the practical application on bikinis.
You have no idea how may times Ive needed to support a truck balanced on a pencil point over a coffee cup!!!
A sheet stretched over your abdomen can stop any rifle bullet.
Oooh...now THERE'S an idea!
The article said it's completely transparent and ultra-light, so one might think...bulletproof windows. However, if it's that good at resisting puncture, AND is so light, you could perhaps up-armor a Hummer without significant addition of weight.
All sorts of things come to mind...
It will make a great border fence. A couple thousand mile long 100 foot high sheet would do wonders. If bullets can’t penetrate it, illegals won’t be able to.
This is from the New York Times. There are probably no such scientists, no such thing as graphene, no such thing as a Nobel Prize, and it’s really the middle of April.
It's carbon, and therefore flammable.
Oh, I know ... but I have a feeling that pouring a little LOX on a sheet of this stuff would make a nice little blaze.
I imagine that the vulnerable spot would be the edge of the sheet.
It will be outlawed for the peasantry. Citizens are not allowed to not die from a hail of gubmint gunfire. Can you imagine the conniption the police state would have if we didn't just lay down and die as ordered?
That would make an interesting experiment.
Thank you for your intelligent discourse.
Yea, I know. Sometimes proofreading is not my strong point.
What if the material could be made stiffer? I wasn’t thinking of a material that was as flimsy and flexible as plastic wrap. I was thinking “steel-hard” and inflexible, but much, much lighter than steel.
And it’s transparent, put a little glue on it and voila, illegal immigrant flypaper. ICE’s job just got easier.
As a dedicated charcoal griller (vs. gas), I look forward to some new high-tech "graphene" charcoal. Yeah!!
My money says they were trying to develop a newer, thinner, stronger condom.
Years ago as a WWII vet getting into chemistry, My professor arranged for me to give demonstrations about liquid LO2. My most memorable one was at Scottsdale Ariz. high school. There were a number of show acts including taking a sip and blowing out like a volcano. Another was setting iron filings in a pan on a block of ice. The LO2 ignited the filings and melted a hole in the ice block into which LO2 flowed. Then the ice froze back until ihe block was shattered by the expanding O2. But the most memorable act was freezing a tennis ball solid by dipping it in the LO2. stepping off the stage and to show the students the ball was actually frozen I threw it against the facia above the stage. My biggest applause came when about 10-15 square feet of plaster came crashing down. As I recall the whole show was considered a roaring success.
I’d love to have seen a demo like that....
If it’s loosely draped it could be sucked in, but if it’s stuck to the entire body, or as several hundred sheets sandiwched within the armor, it could convert the penetrating force on a small point to a pulling force across the whole piece of armor.
This stuff is pretty crazy. You’d look like a mime playing with it, since it’s basically invisible, allowing 97% of light through. It also doesn’t have any noticeable weight. If somebody put a 500 square meter roll of this stuff in your hands you wouldn’t even be able to feel the weight.
Aside from the obvious strength benefits, it also conducts heat and electricity extremely well, so look for applications along those lines too.
Southern Ingenuity: applying the world’s strongest, thinnest material to BBQ :)
IIRC, this is quite consistent with some materials discovered in the UFO realm.
Do the posters to this thread so far realize that it might be “strong” in its own micro-scale, but that is has no strength at all in the real-world macro-scale? It’s a freakin’ atomic mono layer folks! Won’t support a gnat’s spit, much less a truck on a pencil tip (which was a truly bizarre example. My guess is that the NYT author never set foot in a science class.) Sure, take its tensile strength, multiple by 10 orders of magnitude and Whammo! - magic! Except it doesn’t scale that way in the real world. “Thinking” seems to have become a lost art...
“Don’t interrupt them, they’re on a roll.”
Hey, it IS carbon, after all! ;)
(BTW, my dad and I cooked an 80 lb. pig last Saturday. It was a belated b-day party for me. Good times!)
I wonder how well it would stop a bullet?
Might make for some excellent body armor.
Here comes Iron Man for real.
The point is the stuff’s extremely strong and light. Glue a few thousand sheets together and you’d have a very thin penetration plate far better than any of the ceramics used now. And it would only weigh about as much as the glue.
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