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Science
THE MATERIAL WORLD
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Thursday 16:30-17:00
Quentin Cooper reports on developments across the sciences. Each week scientists describe their work, conveying the excitement they feel for their research projects.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 30 November
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QUENTIN COOPER
Quentin Cooper
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Thursday 30 November 2006
Small Graphene Molecule (courtesy of the Condensed Matter Physics Group, Manchester University)
A small graphene molecule
(credit: Condensed Matter Physics Group, Manchester University)

Graphene

Graphene is a two-dimensional, giant, flat molecule made up of a lattice of carbon atoms, which is only the thickness of an atom. 

It is part of the family of famous fullerene molecules, discovered in the last 20 years, which include Buckminsterfullerine or buckyballs and nanotubes, which are just graphene rolled into balls or into tubes.

Quentin talks to the physicist Professor Andre Geim from the University of Manchester who was part of the team that discovered and perfected the method of isolating this remarkable nanofabric just two years ago.

They're joined by Professor Robin Nicholas from the Nicholas Research Group at Oxford University, an expert on carbon nanotubes who is collaborating with Professor Geim to measure the remarkable properties of Graphene.

Graphene could be used to make ultra-fast and stable transistors and computor processors which are much smaller than the silicon processors we use today.

Dating the past

The existence of King Arthur, the date of the last Ice Age and the age of the little 'hobbit' humanoid found on the island of Flores in Indonesia in 2004 all have one thing in common.

They are all controversial when it comes down to pinning an exact time on them.

Quentin Cooper talks to geologist Dr Chris Turney, from The University of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia.

He was the man called on to date the recently-found 'hobbit' remains in Indonesia, believed to be from a previously unknown species of human.

Chris Turney has recently published Bones, Rocks and Stars, The Science of When Things Happen.

Dr Tom Higham, Deputy Director of Oxford’s Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, explains how modern techniques are helping to date artifacts and events.

Q&A Special

Quentin will be presenting a special edition of Material World  on Thursday 11th January where he'll be attempting to find answers to your burning scientific questions.  If there is something you've always wanted to know about the world of science, please send us your question by following this link.
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