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Is graphene really that special?

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  1. Aug 9, 2013 #1

    Jow

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    So lately (meaning the past few years) I've been hearing a lot about graphene and how it's amazing. It's apparently super strong, has a high conductivity and many other amazing properties. It was the subject for which a nobel prize was won, and it supposedly will change the future. I can't profess to have a great deal of knowledge in any field of science, just a burning curiosity. So my question is this: is graphene all that, or is just another one of those pieces of science that has been over sensationalized and wont come to anything much?
     
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  3. Aug 9, 2013 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    There is no way to tell - it may help if you provided an example of some report you think is over-hyped and we can see.

    Graphene is pretty neat though ... so the most likely result is that it will be as special as the (more serious) hype suggests but in a different way. Think of the hype that surrounded the "information superhighway" in the 90's ... the internet has very definitely exceeded the hype but probably not quite in the way the hypers of the day anticipated.

    Then there's the other hype - pseudo and junk-science claims that surround new materials or compounds.
    Less said the better :(

    tldr: "sort of"
     
  4. Aug 10, 2013 #3

    Jow

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    I get what your saying, but unfortunately I wasn't there for the "information superhighway" hype; I was born in the late 90s.
    I don't really have a concrete example. One just reads things when one travels through the wonderful world of the internet. Although I do remember reading somewhere that graphene is likely to completely replace silicon in computers and stuff. Oh and I remember somebody saying that it is super strong and will replace a lot of the building materials we use today. I'm a bit wary of these claims. I generally am wary of any claim that something is revolutionary, especially when it is something scientifc, as I know the media has a tendency to exagerrate (remember the "God Particle"?).
     
  5. Aug 10, 2013 #4

    Simon Bridge

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    Well you can track the news and rumours...
    http://www.extremetech.com/tag/graphene

    Oh the Higgs Boson - yeah ... and that wasn't the first time anyone worried about a physics experiment destroying everything: eg. in early fusion research -
    http://metabunk.org/threads/debunke...-the-earth-during-nuclear-tests-and-cern.692/

    I think graphene will have a bigger impact on our everyday lives than the discovery of the Higgs boson though.
    But you get the idea - another comparison is how spaceflight was imagined to be life-changing vs how it actually is life-changing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2013
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