- We knew each other well
- Had a beer or two
- We got on well
- We both knew the other would take a joke
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Trotted along to the mid-Wales BCS sub branch A.G.M. and lecture last night. AGM was a formality and as such appropriately boring, but at least lasted only 10 minutes.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
We met with Amnesty International to discuss a number of their initiatives in relation to UK companies and how BlackRock engages on social, ethical and environmental matters, particularly human rights.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
"Tell David Cameron that if he screws up my beloved NHS I'll come back and bloody haunt him."
Saturday, October 9, 2010
- Answer an email from an act asking if I could arrange a gig in the Aberystwyth area
- Go to the Druid and get Lewis the landlord to put the night in the diary
- Put some posters up the act sent me and get some other people to put some posters up
- Get some willing and capable hands to sort out the P.A. and the support act.
- Hassle some people to come along
- Email a Cambrian News journalist some details
- An open mind
- Attila the Stockbroker after 6 pints
- A few pints yourself
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Graphene – the perfect atomic lattice
A thin flake of ordinary carbon, just one atom thick, lies behind this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics. Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov have shown that carbon in such a flat form has exceptional properties that originate from the remarkable world of quantum physics.
Graphene is a form of carbon. As a material it is completely new – not only the thinnest ever but also the strongest. As a conductor of electricity it performs as well as copper. As a conductor of heat it outperforms all other known materials. It is almost completely transparent, yet so dense that not even helium, the smallest gas atom, can pass through it. Carbon, the basis of all known life on earth, has surprised us once again.
Geim and Novoselov extracted the graphene from a piece of graphite such as is found in ordinary pencils. Using regular adhesive tape they managed to obtain a flake of carbon with a thickness of just one atom. This at a time when many believed it was impossible for such thin crystalline materials to be stable.
However, with graphene, physicists can now study a new class of two-dimensional materials with unique properties. Graphene makes experiments possible that give new twists to the phenomena in quantum physics. Also a vast variety of practical applications now appear possible including the creation of new materials and the manufacture of innovative electronics. Graphene transistors are predicted to be substantially faster than today’s silicon transistors and result in more efficient computers.
Since it is practically transparent and a good conductor, graphene is suitable for producing transparent touch screens, light panels, and maybe even solar cells.
When mixed into plastics, graphene can turn them into conductors of electricity while making them more heat resistant and mechanically robust. This resilience can be utilised in new super strong materials, which are also thin, elastic and lightweight. In the future, satellites, airplanes, and cars could be manufactured out of the new composite materials.
This year’s Laureates have been working together for a long time now. Konstantin Novoselov, 36, first worked with Andre Geim, 51, as a PhD-student in the Netherlands. He subsequently followed Geim to the United Kingdom. Both of them originally studied and began their careers as physicists in Russia. Now they are both professors at the University of Manchester.
Playfulness is one of their hallmarks, one always learns something in the process and, who knows, you may even hit the jackpot. Like now when they, with graphene, write themselves into the annals of science.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Life does bring some curious and random requests my way. Recent among them was a email from a chap called John to organise a gig in the Aberystwyth area for his 30th anniversary tour. Suitably warned that I was far from a professional gig organiser, he is playing in the Druid Inn in Goginan on Thursday night (7th of October).