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Over the past few years there have been occurring a lot of changes and innovations in politics, science, economy, mobile technology and other fields overall. In this article, I would like to discuss one of these innovations, the discovery in physics, which will thoroughly transform our world and improve our way of living. I want to tell you about the most versatile material in the world, the material which is only an atom thick – the graphene.
Discovered in 2004 by Konstantin Novoselov and Andre Geim at the University of Manchester, it was considered by many scientists and analysts to be one of the most astounding and revolutionary discoveries of the 21st century which will change the whole industrial world.
This is because of distinct properties and characteristics of graphene. It has very high electrical and heat conductivity, it is transparent and has negative thermal expansion coefficient. It is the thinnest material in the world, but is 200 times stronger than steel yet is so ductile that you can bend it.
All these characteristics make obvious that the potential of the graphene is great. It can be used to clear seawater from salt, because it is the most impermeable membrane. Batteries based on graphene will be able to be recharged incredibly quickly and will have a huge capacity. Graphene filters can reduce air pollution more effectively. It can replace silicon in processing CPUs for computers, making them faster and more energy-efficient. Applications are countless and scientists knew about it decades ago. The point is, they knew that graphene could be made and had some notions about its advantages, but simply did not know how to make it, how to get a single atom layer of graphene.
In 2004, however, the situation changed. Two geniuses from Manchester found a way to make graphene with a scotch tape. It was a real breakthrough, and the fact that they won a Noble prize in 2010 for their discovery is a compelling proof of its importance. A huge amount of investments was attracted to explore graphene, because it has become clear that we can gain all of the theoretical advantages of graphene in practice. Also, besides being a revolution in material engineering, there is something remarkable in their discovery, too. I remember the moment I heard about it from the Euronews reportage. They won the Noble prize and I was wondered and excited about the fact, that this incredible material was created just by scotch tape. This event has been and still is a kind of a motivator for me and I guess for many others, too, because it helps to realize that all you need to change the world is creativity.
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