So another week of Nobel prize recipients passed. The one in physics was given for finding a really good use for sticky tape (this is the ultra-fancy way of getting graphene from graphite). More precisely, Greim and Novoselov were able not only to obtain graphene, but to also show that it was an amazing material. There are a lot of promises of how graphene should be the next technology and how it will be in everything really soon. I’ve been asked a couple of times already what’s all the hoopla about graphene, but apart from cool science and lots of activity in terms of conferences and papers written about it, it’s all in projections for future devices that might or might not materialize.
Well, that reminds me of how hot superconductivity was going to be used in everything, but the superconductors never got quite hot enough, and they couldn’t hold magnetic fields as strong as they were required for some of the potential big applications.
This was also the first year in quite a long time where I had already read some of the literature of the Noel prize winner in literature before the prize was announced. Mario Vargas Llosa is a great writer, but most importantly, he is also quite popular in Latin America. He has a rather humorous style and has treated some really difficult topics in his writings. Go and read some of them.
Also, currently the Chilean miners who have been stuck in a mine for about two months are being rescued. This goes to show that when there is a will there is a way: I am very happy that their government has put so many resources into getting them out.
I’ll tell a bit more about what’s going on in physics in the near future. This ends this weeks transmission of (dis)information.