The Wonders of Science

by Marilou Moursund on October 5, 2010

in Education,Recommended Reading,Technology

The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded today to two physicists from the University of Manchester in England for their work on graphene.  From the New York Times article:

“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 one of the strongest. If scaled up to the thickness of plastic refrigerator wrap, a sheet of graphene stretched over a coffee cup could support the weight of a truck bearing down on a pencil point, according to tests conducted by two Columbia University researchers, Jeffrey Kysar and James Hone.

Among its other properties, graphene is able to conduct electricity as well as copper does and to conduct heat better than any other known material, and it is completely transparent. Physicists say that it could eventually 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.”

This news is a terrific reminder that basic research continues to yield important knowledge that can help improve our quality of life.  It also illustrates the importance of improving our educational ranking in math and science.

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