Two Win Nobel for Work on Ultra-Thin Material

A pair of Russian-born physicists working at the University of Manchester in England have won the Nobel prize in physics for investigating the 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 $1.4 million.

Graphene, in which carbon atoms are arranged in a flat hexagon lattice like chicken wire, is not only the thinnest material in the world at one atom thick, 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, it conducts electricity and heat better than any other known material and 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, among other things.

In a statement, the Royal Academy said, “Carbon, the basis of all known life on earth, has surprised us once again.”

via Two Win Nobel for Work on Ultra-Thin Material –


2 thoughts on “Two Win Nobel for Work on Ultra-Thin Material

  1. So that’s where the roulette stops this year in the Nobel casino. What can I say? Graphene does hold amazing promises, but this year’s physics prize completely forgoes its “Lifetime Achievement” flavor quite typical in most other years. To totally override that consideration and award it to a 36 year old, not counting the ancient example of the Bragg father and son, the discovery would have to be totally game-changing, which I am not sure is the case here. On the other hand this signifies the barren landscape in modern day physics research.
    Stephanie Mcnealy

  2. it would guess that “Lifetime Achievement” awards are common only when there isn’t a worthy breakthrough that year.

    you seem very down on physics, while i as a layman view this as a very exciting achievement … i guess we will see how graphene develops

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