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Graphene: The Pencil Material That Will Revolutionize Our Lives [Video]

What's with the excitement over these single-atom carbon sheets? Find out in this short primer
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Image courtesy of Cristian Baitg, via iStockphoto.com

For materials-science fans, graphene is one of those substances that's easy to get excited about. Not only is graphene transparent and superstrong—a sheet with the thickness of Saran Wrap could support an elephant—but it also conducts electricity very quickly. It could lead to computer circuits that run 100 times faster.

Ainissa Ramirez, a Yale University professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, explains the basics of graphene and demonstrates its electrical property with pencil marks on paper. The video is part of her "Material Marvels" series.

One of the discoverers of graphene, Andre Geim, won the 2010 Nobel prize in physics (he indeed used adhesive tape on graphite to make graphene) and wrote about his work in his article, "Carbon Wonderland," in the April 2008 Scientific American (subscription required).

If you feel inspired, you might want to click on over to this: D.I.Y. Graphene: How to Make One-Atom-Thick Carbon Layers With Sticky Tape
 

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