Nobel Prize in Physics: Graphene
The Nobel Prize in Physics has gone to two Russian-born researchers Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, "for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene." The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm announced the two laureates on Tuesday morning in Stockholm.
Graphene is described as a single layer membrane of carbon only one atom thick but its also super strong, ultra thin, transparent, bendable and possible to manufacture. According to physicist and Nobel Committee member Ingemar Lundström the potential for graphene is endless. The material has already been used in touch screens, solar cells, bendable electronics etc.
Geim and Novoselov, both researchers at Britain's Manchester University, have worked together since Novoselov was a Ph.D. Student in the Netherlands. Together they discovered graphene in 2004.
Olga Botner a professor of physics at Uppsala University and one of the committee member said that once scientists have figured out how to manufacture the material on a large scale it can be used for everything from boat masts to cell phones.
“We keep finding methods to make large flat sheets of graphene and there is no end to what applications you can imagine so its potentially a very, very interesting material.”
Both award winners are historic in their own way. At age 36 Novoselov is the youngest winner of the Nobel Prize in physics since 1973. Geim is the first Nobel laureate to have won both real Nobel Prize an IgNobel Prize, a parody of the Nobel Prize given to weird and wacky scientific discoveries. Geim won that prize in 2000 for his levitating frog experiments.