05 October 2010

Andre Geim, a true star of science


This year’s Nobel physics prize goes to Russians Andre Geim and Konstantin. Novoselov for their "groundbreaking" work on graphene, a material with amazing properties.

Graphene is a flat sheet of carbon just one atom thick; it is almost completely transparent, but also extremely strong and a good conductor of electricity. Its unique properties mean it could have a wide array of practical uses.

The researchers, along with several collaborators, were the first to isolate the layers of carbon from the material graphite, The breakthrough could lead to the manufacture of innovative electronics, including faster computers, according to the Nobel Prize Foundation.

Dr Novoselov, 36, holds British and Russian citizenship and is the youngest Nobel laureate in nearly 40 years. They first worked together in the Netherlands before moving to the UK. They were based at the University of Manchester when they published their research on graphene in October 2004.

But there's more...

Geim is one of a tiny handful of scientists who have won both a Nobel and an Ig Nobel prize.

Ten years ago, he and Sir Michael Berry from the University of Bristol were jointly awarded an Ig Nobel prize for their experiments using magnetic fields to levitate live frogs.

A Nobel and an Ig Nobel? Surely Geim is one of science’s true heroes. Move over Newton, Einstein et al, we have a new star n the firmament!

8 comments:

Gizelle said...

And he looks still young! He surely would be bringing more to science!

Andrew Scott said...

The potential applications for the levitating frogs get me most interested. On the radio today he said he had also levitated his pet hamster (assuring us that both hamsters and frogs were unharmed, at least physically, by their adventures) but he reported "the frogs worked better than the hamster." Good stuff.

jams o donnell said...

Here's hoping Gizelle!

The earlier application intrigues me too Andrew. Perhaps we will be levitating too... without the need for psychedelics

Kay Dennison said...

Fascinating.

jams o donnell said...

It truly is Kay!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Yep, the man is the Man!

susan said...

The first thing I thought about when I read about the graphene breakthrough was the possibility of this being the material that could make the cables for a space elevator. It may not be and the other potential uses are very exciting. Science is so much fun and he's obviously a very cool guy.

jams o donnell said...

Indeed Snoopy!


Space Elevator Susan? It gets better!