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The Nobel Prize in Physics 2010

By Gerald Ondrey |

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2010 to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, both at University of Manchester, U.K. “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene”. A thin flake of ordinary carbon, just one atom thick, lies behind this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics. Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov have shown that carbon in such a flat form has exceptional properties that originate from the remarkable world of quantum physics. Graphene is a form of carbon. As a material it is completely new – not only the thinnest ever but also the strongest. As a conductor of electricity it performs as well as copper. As a conductor of heat it outperforms all other known materials. It is almost completely transparent, yet so dense that not even helium, the smallest gas atom, can pass through it. Carbon, the basis of all known life on earth, has surprised us once again. Geim and Novoselov extracted the graphene from a piece of graphite, such as is found in ordinary pencils. Using regular adhesive tape they managed to obtain a flake of carbon with a thickness of just one atom. This at a time when many believed it was impossible for such thin…
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