Tuesday, April 15, 2014

And now for something completely different: Graphene!

Photo by Nicholas Petrone

I sometimes -- well, all right, often -- post on topics I know nothing about. Nick Bilton, for instance, in "Bend It, Charge It, Dunk It: Graphene, the Material of Tomorrow" (New York Times, April 13, 2014), just recently told me about my ignorance of graphene:
Graphene is the strongest, thinnest material known to exist. A form of carbon, it can conduct electricity and heat better than anything else. And get ready for this: It is not only the hardest material in the world, but also one of the most pliable.
I'm just smart enough to understand that this will bring about a radically new form of computing devices that will be thin, light, strong, and flexible. Oddly enough, I dreamt the night before last of an iPad-sized tablet that I could fold into a small rectangle and slip into my pocket, and the day after that dream, I read about graphene and its computing implications:
In 2012, the American Chemical Society said that advancements in graphene were leading to touch-screen electronics that "could make cellphones as thin as a piece of paper and foldable enough to slip into a pocket."
This leads me to suspect that I might have read that statement two years ago without paying attention and that my brain mulled it over for a while and finally decided to bring it to my mind's attention . . . but how did my brain know I'd read a report on stuff like this the next day? There's a bigger mystery here than the mystery of graphene itself. But graphene might also help accomplish this other über-phenomenal thing:
[A]n international team of researchers based at M.I.T. has performed tests [on graphene] that could lead to the creation of quantum computers . . .
Finally, there's a potential use for quantum mechanics! Subatomic physics hasn't been a waste of time after all!

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At 8:14 AM, Blogger Emilio Fernandez said...

Good morning, how are you?

My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because trough them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately, it is impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are very small countries with very few population, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

For all this, I would ask you one small favor:
Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Korea? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Korea in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

Emilio Fernandez Esteban
Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
28902 Getafe (Madrid)

If you wish, you can visit my blog www.cartasenmibuzon.blogspot.com where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

Finally, I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

Yours Sincerely

Emilio Fernandez

At 11:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting stuff! If anyone wants to see the TEDx pesentation on Graphene, click Here


At 3:50 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Mr. Fernandez, I'll try to get a letter to you soon.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:15 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Jay, thanks for the link. The speaker, Mikael Fogelström, seemed a bit nervous, but if you ignore that twitchiness and concentrate on what he says, you can learn some interesting things about graphene.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 1:21 AM, Anonymous Malcolm Pollack said...

Yup, graphene's going to be huge - had a little item on this myself, last year.

(There's a Korean company called Posco (PKX), by the way, that has made a significant investment in a private graphene producer.)

At 3:50 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Malcolm. Actually, I think I now remember that blog entry of yours!

Jeffery Hodges

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