The Nobel Prize in physics is being awarded to two University of Manchester scientists, Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov. The two scientists have isolated a material that for decades has only existed in theory. The material which; is an atom thick, super strong, and a highly conductive material is known as graphene.
The discovery could lead to groundbreaking work in everything from computer technology to transistors. Scientists around the world have been thinking of uses for graphene long before Geim and Novoselov were able to successfully isolate it. This could very well mean that we will see a flooding of inventions that create unimaginable efficiency, and increase the standard of living around the world.
The announcement is getting wide acclaim internationally. International scientists are praising the isolation, and cannot wait to start experimenting with graphene. Not only does the material have amazing properties, it is made of carbon. This means that the material could be extremely inexpensive, which opens up a world of possibilities that scientists have only dreamed about.
On their greetings page Nawsad and Soumik makes a comment that states “thank you for your revolutionary gift to mankind”. This statement sums up the excitement for the discovery of this tough tiny material.
The choice was not a political play, and a natural choice. Scientists will be able to study and invent items with this material for decades, if not centuries to come.
Possibilities for the New Discovery
The atom thick graphene will open new doors in the world of small cell phones and computers. Making that skit with Will Ferrell in Saturday Night Live (the skit where he is the salesman in a clothing store, with a very small cell phone) a reality.
Batteries as we know them may become obsolete. Not only is graphene extremely small and strong, it is also potentially extremely inexpensive to produce. This could open doors for third world countries that have had lack of access to energy.
Graphene is being developed to create wearable clothing that can be used for cheap electrical storage, allowing your clothes to charge your electronics.
The End to Silicon
In much the same way as plastics have replaced steel, graphene is posed to quickly replace silicon.
Nobel Prize Quick Facts
Nobel Prize in Physics
103 Nobel Prizes in physics have been awarded since 1901. There have been 6 years where no Nobel prize was awarded for physics. If they were unable to locate a good enough candidate in a particular year, they merely rolled the money over for the next year. They also did not award any Nobel Prizes during World War I and World War II.
The oldest Nobel Laureate was Raymond Davis Jr. who won the Nobel prize at the age of 88.
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