Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Quantuming thoughts

Inside every pencil, there's a neutron star waiting to get out.

To release it, just draw a line.


The soft, silvery-grey trail of pure carbon found in pencils consist of stacked up sheets of interlaced carbon atoms.

If these sheets are separated into films of carbon just one atom thick then you have a material called graphene, whose properties mimic those of exotic substances found in collapsed stars.

Graphene most certainly shares properties with materials left over in the first instance of the 'big bang'. It's not just about cosmology.

Graphene's ability to conduct electricity promises new, tiny and powerful electronic devices fashioned off sheets of carbon cut up into circuitry. The peculiar way that graphene conducts electricity opens up avenues into some of the weirder areas of quantum physics.

Obviously, graphene has been with us forever, in at least ten different forms of graphite like carbon, graphine is the major building block of all graphite forms. A dangerously good source of cheap small rods are those found in the nasty neveready batteries that leaked before expiry, that mind you is not the recomended way of obtaining pure carbon, i'll gaurentee infertility among other things if you try, not to mention the fact that washing your hands after will kill at least ten creatures on land or sea within two rainy days.

So after straying from the point, carbon forms include the prosaic-pencil lead and soot- as well as the more peculiar carbon-60 buckyballs and long hollow carbon nanotubes.

Isolated sheets of graphene, however, have only been studied for the last couple of year.

Layers of carbon atoms tend to attract each other, which makes it hard to seperate them from the stacked sheets of graphite. Believe it or not, scotch magic tape does the trick just right without the need to consult a nuclear physicis :) embarassingly simple.

Inside every pencil, there's a neutron star waiting to get out.

To release it, just draw a line.


The soft, silvery-grey trail of pure carbon found in pencils consist of stacked up stacked sheets of interlaced carbon atoms.

If these sheets are separated into films of carbon just one atom thick then you have a material called graphene, whose properties mimic those of exotic substances found in collapsed stars.

Graphene most certainly shares properties with materials left over in the first instance of the 'big bang'. It's not just about cosmology.

Graphene's ability to conduct electricity promises new, tiny and powerful electronic devices fashioned off sheets of carbon cut up into circuitry. The peculiar way that graphene conducts electricity opens up avenues into some of the weirder ares of quantum physics.

Obviously, graphene has been with us forever, in at least ten different forms of graphite like carbon, graphine is the major building block of all graphite forms. A dangerously good source of cheap small rods are those found in the nasty neveready batteries that leaked before expiry, that mind you is not the recomended way of obtaining pure carbon, i'll gaurentee infertility among other things if you try, not to mention the fact that washing your hands after will kill at least ten creatures on land or sea within two rainy days.

So after straying from the point, carbon forms include the prosaic-pencil lead and soot- as well as the more peculiar carbon-60 buckyballs and long hollow carbon nanotubes.

Isolated sheets of graphene, however, have only been studied for the last couple of year.

Layers of carbon atoms tend to attract each other, which makes it hard to seperate them from the stacked sheets of graphite. Believe it or not, scotch magic tape does the trick just right without the need to consult a nuclear physicis :) embarassingly simple.

PTO

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