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Sir Andre Geim

Kirsty Young talks to Nobel Prize-winning physicist Sir Andre Geim.

Kirsty Young's castaway is the Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Professor Sir Andre Geim.

Born in the Soviet Union, his early years were spent in Sochi with his grandmother, a meteorologist. And it was perhaps her small weather station on the beach that sparked an early interest in science. As a student his intellect was rigorous but his timing was also spot on:"glasnost", the political movement that swept open the Iron Curtain, enabled him to travel and study throughout Europe, finally settling at Manchester University.

It was his work developing the substance graphene that won him science's highest prize. Graphene has many exciting properties: it is the thinnest and strongest material ever discovered; using it, electricity can travel a million meters a second; it has unique levels of light absorption and is flexible and stretchable.

Of his research he says, "It's like being Sherlock Holmes but being a detective of science. It's trying to find things out using very limited information ... like a hair on your coat, or dirt on your shoes, or some lipstick - the winner is the one who needs the fewest hints to get the answer".

Producer: Cathy Drysdale.

Available now

45 minutes

Music Played

  • Michal Oginski

    Farewell to Homeland

    Performer: Ted Maksymowicz and his Orchestra.
    • Paramount.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Édith Piaf

      Je Ne Regrette Rien

      • Edith Piaf at The Paris Olympia.
      • EMI.
  • The Red Army Choir

    Farewell of Slavianka

    • Red Army Choir: Moscow Nights.
    • Marco Polo.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Toccata and Fugue in D minor

    Performer: Philip Ledger.
    • Organ Music from King’s.
    • EMI.
  • Pink Floyd

    Time

    • The Dark Side of The Moon (2011 Digital Remaster).
    • EMI.
  • Pascal Danel

    The Snows of Kilimanjaro

    • Mega France CD2.
    • EMI.
  • Gioachino Rossini

    Figaro's Aria from the Barber of Seville

    Performer: Hermann Prey. Performer: London Symphony Orchestra. Performer: Claudio Abbado.
    • Barber of Seville.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
  • Aram Khachaturian

    The Sabre Dance from Khachaturian's ballet Gayaneh

    Performer: Vienna Philharmonic. Performer: Aram Khachaturian.
    • Khachaturian: Spartacus ….
    • Decca.
  • Luxury Choice

    • Amarone wine

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Andre Geim
Producer Cathy Drysdale

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