The continuing legacy of inventor and industrialist Alfred Nobel, the Nobel Prizes have become the most coveted and prestigious honors in the world. From Albert Einstein to Madame Marie Curie, these awards have been granted to some of the most famous physicists of our time. Awarded each December, the announcement of winners comes in early Fall. Joining the ranks of international geniuses Albert Einstein and Madame Marie Curie are Drs. Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, the 2010 Nobel Prize winners in Physics.
Drs. Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, who are researchers at the University of Manchester, England were awarded their prize for their discovery and development of grapheme, a form of carbon. Graphene is unique because it arranges itself into a atomic lattice structure from which emerges remarkable properties not usually intrinsic to the element. This form of carbon, which is extremely dense and transparent, is a strong conductor of electricity, performing as well as the metal copper and the strongest element on the Earth. ‘
Accidently discovered from the waste of a disgarded graphite experiment, graphene has captured the interest of the world as a potential successor to silicon, its strength and stiffness and its elasticity. The technological applications for its use extend to transparent touch screens, light panels, satellite technology, solar cells, gas sensors and other electronics.
Andre Geim, a 51 year old Dutch national, was born in Sochi Russia in 1958. He studied at the Moscow Physical-Technical Institute, then at the Institute of Solid State Physics in Chernogolovka. Konstantin Novoselov, almost fifteen years Geim’s junior, is a dual citizen of Britain and Russia. Born in Russian Urals in 1974, Novoselov also studied at the Moscow Physical-Technical University and then the Institute of Solid State Physics in Chernogolovka. When Geim was offered the Professor of Physics post at the University of Manchester in 2001, Novoselov followed. Three years later, the two researchers began their groundbreaking work on this two-dimensional form of carbon.
The Russian born researchers will receive their Prize in Oslo, Norway on the 109th anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death.