Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Graphene Eyes the Prize

The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov for their work on graphene, a form of carbon just one molecule thick. Unlike physicists who require expensive machines, Geim and Novoselov extracted graphene from ordinary slabs of graphite using adhesive tape. A hundred times stronger than steel, graphene has many potential uses in electronics and material science. The prize committee also recognised the duo's "playfulness." In 1997 Geim used a magnetic field to levitate a frog, earning an Ignobel prize.

Once again there was no prize for "dark energy." At least one blogger predicted that 2010 would be DE's year. The New York Times, which has been a tireless promoter of DE, has long been predicting that it would win a Nobel. Even if "dark energy" existed, it would have no conceivable use. It would be too diffuse in Space to power a watch, much less levitate a frog. As this blog has noted, a shrinking number of scientists believe that DE exists at all. Better luck next time, guys.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Kea said...

Congratulations to them for this wonderful discovery! Personally, though, I feel sorry for the frog.

6:51 PM  
OpenID nige said...

I'm glad the frog was just used for magnetic levitation, instead of electrocuted in Luigi Galvani's experiments (or fried and served with garlic sauce in a French restaurant). I'm confident that a frog can't tell the difference between being levitated by a lilly leaf on a pond, or levitated by a magnetic field. Geim is lucky to have received both the Ignobel prize and the Nobel one, in that order.

5:33 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

LOL kea and nige! I keep thinking of the minion in "Despicable Me" who drinks 'anitgravity serum' and ends up floating into Space. I hope they rescue him in the sequel.

7:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you shouldn't be so cynical the blogger only said it should go to those who discovered the cosmic acceleration which is a significant discovery. he even notes he is not a fan of dark energy.
you should know that i know a cosmologist who worked on a varying speed of light model a few years ago and it raised many problems and failed to fit the data very well, ultimately although dark energy is just a number but as a physical acceleration it proves more correct.

9:31 AM  

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