Graphene Reveals Fine Structure Constant
Graphene, at just one atom in thickness the world's thinnest material, reveals another amazing property. When light is shown through a large suspended membrane of graphine, most visible light passes right through it.
However, graphene is not clear; about 2.3 percent of visible light is absorbed. Dividing this number by pi gives the exact value of the fine structure constant, which is the fundamental physical constant characterizing the strength of the electromagnetic interaction. It is a dimensionless quantity - just about 1 / 137.
To put it another way, if the fine structure constant was changed just a few percent, and life would be impossible. Nuclear reactions in which carbon is generated from lighter elements in burning stars would be impossible. Without carbon, there would be no life.
(Graphene covers the small holes;
the light passing through is visible to the naked eye)
Apparently, the reason that dividing the percentage of visible light shining through divided by pi gives the fine structure constant is that the electrons in graphene behave as if they have lost their mass. This result has been verified by many researchers after the original creation of graphene by University of Manchester researchers. Read more about the discovery of graphene in an earlier article - Graphene - Nanofabric One Atom Thick.
Professor Andre Geim, of The School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester, remarks
“We were absolutely flabbergasted when realized that such a fundamental effect could be measured in such a simple way. One can have a glimpse of the very foundations of our universe just looking through graphene.”
Read more about the origins of graphene; see
Graphene gazing gives glimpse of foundations of universe and Refining the fine-structure constant.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/4/2008)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )
Related News Stories -
3D Printed Damascus Steel Now Possible
'... lined with durite, that strange close-packed laboratory product.' - Robert Heinlein, 1939.
3D Printing Of Metallic Glass
Draw Circuits With Conductive Ink
'It's rewiring things... squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon along the printed circuitry.'
How To Encode The 'Memory' Of Materials
'Just jar it, and it falls into that structure like a rubber figure returning to shape.' - Samuel R. Delany, 1966.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Jet-Powered Flying Suits Tested By Navy
'With his motor in operation, he moves like a diver, head foremost...'
Pub Installs Electrified Fence Around Bar
'I start twelve immensely strong wires--naked, not insulated --from a big dynamo...'
What Does A Tesla Full Self-Driving Car See?
'All objects within my panoramic gaze trembled and vibrated like quick motion pictures...'
BioVYZR Is Ready, Anti-Covid19 PAPR Lovers
'Some clad in the insulated space-suits, with their transparent glassite helmets.'
Tesla Will Have Metal Gear Snake Autocoupler, Musk Confirms
'Its motion was so swift, complex, and perfect that at first I did not see it as a machine, in spite of its metallic glitter.'
Starlink Satellites Leading Edge On-Orbit Debris Mitigation
Propulsion-assisted orbital decay, brought to you by SpaceX.
Healight Ultraviolet Endotracheal Device Has Covid-19 Treatment Potential
'He applied the tip of the instrument to the interior of the wound...'
Parents Use AI To See One Last Message From Their Deceased Son
'...what's to keep me from showing face, Man?'
Satoshi Tomizu Creates Pocket Universes And Worldcraft Bubbles In Glass
'The Worldcraft bubble glittered, catching the light...'
Space Hero Inc. Offers Trip To ISS As Reality Show Prize
'This is Elmer Schmitz, presenting to you the finalists in our Aviation Quiz Program...'
I Love Ceiling-Mounted Robots
'Immediately an enormous apparatus fell on to her out of the ceiling...'
Armano Remote Control Excavator
'The bulldozer moved through the... mine... '
OK, NASA 3D Printer Of Food Not Yet Star Trek Food Synthesizer
Maybe not, but we're seeing definite progress.
Kelly Clarkson Show Like Black Mirror '15 Million Merits'
'These people are pieces of software called avatars.'
Salto Jumping Robot Now Sticks Landing!
'Lucky touched the leap knob and the hopper's leg retracted.'
Gyroscopic Median-Straddling Mass Transit Vehicles
'It was among these leviathans that the little gyrocar was daring to thrust its puny self...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories