Knights of the Nano Table

Among the United Kingdom's many traditions is the Queen's New Year' Honors List, a list of politicians, actors, writers and others awarded with knighthoods for distinguished services in fields ranging from charitable work to business to acting. Among this years honorees are Professors Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, both of the University of Manchester.

As noted here in October 2010, Professors Geim and Novoselov were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery of graphene.

The two new knights join Sir Mark Edward Welland, head of theUniversity of Cambridge's Nanoscience Centre, in being honored for their contributions to the fields of nanotechnology and nanoparticle research. Sir Mark's knighthood was discussed here inJune 2011.

According to a press release on the University of Manchester's site, Professor Geim seemed to be taking his knighthood in stride:

Professor Geim said: “In my life, I have got used to being called four-letter names. Going down to three is a completely new experience which I will hopefully enjoy.”

Rule Britannia.

The Nano-Knight

As part of Queen Elizabeth II's Official Birthday, Buckingham Palace released the Queen's Birthday Honours List. Among those honored with a knighthood was Professor Mark Edward Welland of the University of Cambridge, where he heads the Nanoscience Centre and also currently serves as Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Ministry of Defence. Professor Welland is also the former editor of Nanotechnology, published by the Institute of Physics.

Professor Welland's knighthood is in recognition of a distinguised career in science and teaching. The rank is that of a Knight Bachelor, which has nothing to do with his marital status, but instead indicates that he is not a member of one of the Chivalric Orders, such as the Order of the British Emprire or the Order of the Garter.