The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics

TheSwedish Royal Academy of Sciences, in accordance with the will of Afred Nobel, announced the winners of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday October 5, 2010. As most people have heard by now, the winners were Russian expatriates Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov , both Professors at the UK's University of Manchester.  Professors Geim and Novoselov were cited for their discovery of graphene, using Scotch tape. Graphene, according to an article in the New York Times:

. . .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 and hardest.

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 practically 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 the forms of graphene that are of most interest to the nanotechnology field are graphene nanoribbons. Graphene is also related to carbon nanotubes and "buckeyballs".

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