The Big Think

September 30, 2010

You Spin Me Right Round, Baby, Right Round

Filed under: Science — jasony @ 10:08 pm

Scientists get the Extreme Dreidel award:

Graphene is a derivation of graphite, which in turn comes from carbon. Basically, graphite comes from stacked sheets of carbon, and graphene is made of one-atom-thick separated graphite sheets, which form a honeycomb crystal structure. Graphene has some pretty incredible properties: It conducts electricity better than any other known material at room temperature and exhibits a startling amount of strength, given its 2D structure. A bit of graphene the same thickness as plastic wrap would require 2.5 tons of force to puncture it.

Kane then set them spinning using a light beam that is circularly polarised, meaning it passes its momentum to objects in its path. As a result, the flakes started spinning at 60 million rotations per minute, faster than any other macroscopic object.

It’s not really clear that there are any particular uses for this discovery, but graphene has shown nothing but promise so far, so further research on its spin speed could well lead to scientists stumbling onto something great.

Not really clear?!? I have one good particular use for it: because it’s frickin’ awesome. 60 million RPM? That’s nothing, they say. Apparently this may only be 1/1000th it’s possible top speed. Insane.

1 Comment »

  1. That is the coolest thing in the entire world.

    Comment by barrybrake — October 3, 2010 @ 6:51 pm

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