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Two Win Nobel for Work on Ultra-Thin Material
NYT ^ | October 5, 2010 | DENNIS OVERBYE

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 ...


TOPICS: Education; Science
KEYWORDS: nobel; science
I heard about this on the radio this morning. It was some messing around and a flash of inspiration that lead to this discovery. It's got all kinds of potential.

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

1 posted on 10/05/2010 6:56:33 AM PDT by Pan_Yan
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To: Pan_Yan

“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!!!


2 posted on 10/05/2010 7:00:31 AM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Pan_Yan

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.


3 posted on 10/05/2010 7:12:13 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: PetroniusMaximus

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.


4 posted on 10/05/2010 7:13:56 AM PDT by NCC-1701 (HEY, NAZI PELOUSY, ON NOVEMBER 2, WE WILL DRAIN THE SWAMP!)
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To: Pan_Yan

I guess the scienced is OK, but I’d rather see them work towards the practical application on bikinis.


5 posted on 10/05/2010 7:15:47 AM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: PetroniusMaximus

You have no idea how may times I’ve needed to support a truck balanced on a pencil point over a coffee cup!!!


Try this:

A sheet stretched over your abdomen can stop any rifle bullet.


6 posted on 10/05/2010 7:16:21 AM PDT by Atlas Sneezed (Congressmen should serve two terms: One in Congress and one in prison.)
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To: Beelzebubba
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...

7 posted on 10/05/2010 7:25:42 AM PDT by hoagy62 (.)
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To: hoagy62

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.


8 posted on 10/05/2010 7:31:58 AM PDT by hal ogen (1st amendment or reeducation camp?)
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To: Pan_Yan
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.

Bullshit.

9 posted on 10/05/2010 7:35:35 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: Pan_Yan

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.


10 posted on 10/05/2010 7:36:30 AM PDT by IronJack (=)
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To: hal ogen
If bullets can’t penetrate it, illegals won’t be able to.

It's carbon, and therefore flammable.

11 posted on 10/05/2010 7:36:40 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: r9etb

Perfect answer.


12 posted on 10/05/2010 7:37:18 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: r9etb
Diamond is carbon ... so is graphite. Yes, carbon burns ... but sometimes you have to try really hard to make it go.
13 posted on 10/05/2010 7:38:36 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Pan_Yan
But will it replace transparent aluminum? :)


14 posted on 10/05/2010 7:40:51 AM PDT by Errant
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To: ArrogantBustard
Diamond is carbon ... so is graphite. Yes, carbon burns ... but sometimes you have to try really hard to make it go.

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.

15 posted on 10/05/2010 7:44:19 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: Beelzebubba
A sheet stretched over your abdomen can stop any rifle bullet.

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?

16 posted on 10/05/2010 7:45:14 AM PDT by InternetTuffGuy
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To: r9etb

That would make an interesting experiment.


17 posted on 10/05/2010 7:46:44 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Pan_Yan
It was some messing around and a flash of inspiration that lead to this discovery.

Led.
18 posted on 10/05/2010 7:48:38 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: Pan_Yan
It is exactly what is wrong with science and academia. It has no current practical use.

That's what the inventor of the ruby laser said. Something new, by definition, has no "current practical use."
19 posted on 10/05/2010 7:50:40 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: ArrogantBustard
Sorta like lighting briquettes with LOX.
20 posted on 10/05/2010 7:51:01 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: ArrogantBustard
Video...
21 posted on 10/05/2010 7:53:23 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: hoagy62
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.

If it were fused to the body of a Hummer, it may not let a projectile pass through its surface, but the body of the Hummer would still be deformed by the projectile. Same thing if you had a shirt made of this and got shot. The bullet wouldn't bounce off, it would just drag the shirt into or perhaps all the way through your body.
22 posted on 10/05/2010 7:54:31 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: r9etb
Bullshit.

Thank you for your intelligent discourse.

23 posted on 10/05/2010 8:06:41 AM PDT by Pan_Yan
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To: aruanan

Yea, I know. Sometimes proofreading is not my strong point.


24 posted on 10/05/2010 8:07:52 AM PDT by Pan_Yan
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To: aruanan

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.


25 posted on 10/05/2010 8:13:55 AM PDT by hoagy62 (.)
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To: hal ogen

And it’s transparent, put a little glue on it and voila, illegal immigrant flypaper. ICE’s job just got easier.


26 posted on 10/05/2010 8:15:28 AM PDT by Waverunner (")
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To: stainlessbanner; Rebelbase; Lee'sGhost
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.

As a dedicated charcoal griller (vs. gas), I look forward to some new high-tech "graphene" charcoal. Yeah!!

27 posted on 10/05/2010 8:21:45 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: PetroniusMaximus

My money says they were trying to develop a newer, thinner, stronger condom.


28 posted on 10/05/2010 8:22:04 AM PDT by csmusaret (If the Bush recession ended in June 2009, did the Obama economy begin in July 2009?)
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To: hoagy62
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.

It's sort of like diamond being one of the hardest natural substances, but one can still be smashed with a hammer.
29 posted on 10/05/2010 8:25:13 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: r9etb

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.


30 posted on 10/05/2010 9:43:28 AM PDT by noinfringers2
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To: noinfringers2

I’d love to have seen a demo like that....


31 posted on 10/05/2010 9:49:40 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: aruanan

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.


32 posted on 10/05/2010 10:19:47 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: Constitution Day

Southern Ingenuity: applying the world’s strongest, thinnest material to BBQ :)


33 posted on 10/05/2010 12:00:27 PM PDT by stainlessbanner
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To: Pan_Yan

IIRC, this is quite consistent with some materials discovered in the UFO realm.


34 posted on 10/05/2010 12:11:15 PM PDT by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: Pan_Yan

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...


35 posted on 10/05/2010 12:51:54 PM PDT by Moltke (panem et circenses)
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To: Moltke

“Germans?”

“Don’t interrupt them, they’re on a roll.”


36 posted on 10/05/2010 12:55:41 PM PDT by Pan_Yan
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To: stainlessbanner

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!)


37 posted on 10/05/2010 12:55:48 PM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: Errant
A better article
38 posted on 10/05/2010 4:28:22 PM PDT by Errant
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To: antiRepublicrat
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.

Well, yes. There are all sorts of "thens" when all sorts of "ifs" are invoked.
39 posted on 10/05/2010 8:04:31 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: Pan_Yan
“a sheet of it stretched over a coffee cup could support the weight of a truck bearing down on a pencil point. “

I wonder how well it would stop a bullet?

Might make for some excellent body armor.

40 posted on 10/05/2010 8:09:14 PM PDT by airborne (Why is it we won't allow the Bible in school, but we will in prison? Think about it.)
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To: airborne
Might make for some excellent body armor.

Here comes Iron Man for real.

41 posted on 10/05/2010 8:19:37 PM PDT by The Cajun
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To: aruanan

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.


42 posted on 10/06/2010 6:55:30 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: antiRepublicrat
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.

Be interesting to see if one could make a man-powered ornithopter with it.
43 posted on 10/06/2010 9:20:21 AM PDT by aruanan
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