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The material graphene was touted as "the next big thing" even before its pioneers were handed the Nobel Prize last year. Many believe it could spell the end for silicon and change the future of computers and other devices forever.
Said to be the strongest material ever measured, an improvement upon and a replacement for silicon and the most conductive material known to man, its properties have sent the science world - and subsequently the media - into a spin.
"You could theoretically roll up your iPhone and stick it behind your ear like a pencil,"
If graphene can be compared to the way plastic is used today, everything from crisp packets to clothing could be digitised once the technology is established. The future could see credit cards contain as much processing power as your current smartphone.
The band structure of graphite was first theorised and calculated by PR Wallace in 1947, though for it to exist in the real world was thought impossible Due to the timing of this discovery, some conspiracy theorists have linked it to materials at the Roswell "crash site"
Carbon nanotubes are the strongest and stiffest materials yet discovered in terms of tensile strength and elastic modulus respectively. This strength results from the covalent sp2 bonds formed between the individual carbon atoms. In 2000, a multi-walled carbon nanotube was tested to have a tensile strength of 63 gigapascals (GPa). (For illustration, this translates into the ability to endure tension of a weight equivalent to 6422 kg on a cable with cross-section of 1 mm2.)
Originally posted by Griffo
reply to post by goos3
According to the Nobel prize committee, a hypothetical one-metre-square hammock of perfect graphene could support a four-kilogram cat - the hammock would weigh 0.77 milligrams, less than a cat's whisker, and would be virtually invisible