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View Diary: Open thread for night owls: Of course, the U.S. tortured. But new report's findings still matter (105 comments)

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  •  Scotch Tape and a Pencil = Nobel Prize (16+ / 0-)

    Graphene – One Of The Greatest Discoveries Of Our Time

    A new discovery by researchers at the ICFO has revealed that graphene is even more efficient at converting light into electricity than previously known. Graphene is capable of converting a single photon of light into multiple electrons capable of driving electric current. The discovery is an important one for next-generation solar cells, as well as other light-detecting and light-harvesting technologies.

    Today, we find it hard to imagine life without plastic. Bottles, packaging, furniture, car parts – all made of plastic. This key material revolutionized technology over the last century, and there is a lot of optimism in the scientific community that graphene will provide similar paradigm shifting advances over the next few decades. Its potential use in high-efficiency, flexible, and transparent solar cells is among the potential applications. Some of the other most discussed applications include: foldable batteries/cellphones/computers, extremely thin computers/displays, desalination and water purification technology, fuel distillation, integrated circuits, single-molecule gas sensors, etc.

    “In most materials, one absorbed photon generates one electron, but in the case of graphene, we have seen that one absorbed photon is able to produce many excited electrons, and therefore generate larger electrical signals,” says Frank Koppens, group leader at ICFO.

    •  Love the incidental stuff you occasional "science (7+ / 0-)

      nerds" put on Kos. It sure beats a lot of the routine, tedious, repetitive, obsessional political crap (excuse me, guys) here.

      I went to Wikipedia, and looked up "Graphene" (you don't think an average joe like me would be conversant with this totally new technology, do you?). Fascinating. One atom thick? I had to read this to my wife.

      Another mind-blower: the scientists who created graphene were given a grant by the European Union. The grant?

      ONE BILLION. I shoulda been a scientist. :)

      Thanks for an "incidental" mind-blower.

      "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

      by Wildthumb on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 08:59:14 PM PDT

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      •  It's a fascinating substance. (4+ / 0-)

        I should say element—carbon, that is.

        Their using it to make supercapacitors (think fast charging batteries), as well as for solar cell technologies (from the articles). There is an incredible amount of research going into the properties and possible uses of graphene.

        Everybody has their own itch to scratch. Mine is sciencitch ☺

        •  Right on. My feeling is now there can't be really (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JeffW, palantir

          any such thing as "futurist" thinking anymore. Why? Because they're constantly thinking up things that will spin any technological scenario in a totally different direction from the way things might look like now. (Sort of like a "plot point" in a motion picture screenplay. You're following a movie's plot, and you think you know where you're going, but an element or character is introduced that will redirect you sometimes at a breakneck speed into a totally unforseen dimension.)

          I have no idea what technology will resemble in a hundred years. (Assuming the planet and humans are still reasonably intact.) Graphene right now. What's tomorrow?

          This is why even a technology and business such as Apple can be ultra-cutting edge one day and obsolete the next, both with scientific progress and the grinding down of the pace of modern life.

          "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

          by Wildthumb on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 09:30:58 PM PDT

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        •  can we recover carbon (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          palantir, JeffW

          for these uses out of greenhouse gases, somehow?

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

          by BlackSheep1 on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 10:50:57 PM PDT

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    •  Fascinating! Thanks for this, palantir. (4+ / 0-)

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 09:14:41 PM PDT

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