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Physicists Say Graphene Could Create Mass

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the boson-walks-into-a-church dept.

Math 184

eldavojohn writes "Graphene has gotten a lot of press lately. The Nobel prize-winning, fastest-spinning, nanobubble-enhanced silicon replacement is theorized to have a new, more outlandish property. As reported by Technology Review's Physics Blog, graphene should be able to create mass inside properly formed nanotubes. According to Abdulaziz Alhaidari's calculations, if one were to roll up graphene into a nanotube, this could compactifiy dimensions (from the sheet's two down to the tube's one), and thus 'the massless equations that describe the behavior of electrons and holes will change to include a term for mass. In effect, compactifying dimensions creates mass.' What once would require a massive high-energy particle accelerator can now be tested with carbon, electricity, and wires, according to the recent paper."

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A new particle (5, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33986942)

Scientists have now isolated the particle that causes this strange mass inducing effect, and have dubbed it the "YoMamma".

This phenomenon closely related to: (3, Insightful)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988020)

The bogon [hacker-dictionary.com] .

Seriously, can't anyone at Tech Review spot the flaw here? A tube still has more than one dimension. Even if you managed to create a chain of single carbon atoms, you'd still have multiple dimensions, in that the atoms comprising the chain are not infinitely short and infinitely flat.

Bah. Sensationalist nonsense non-news.

Re:This phenomenon closely related to: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988166)

Given a tube and a particle inside of it, if the tube is tight enough around the particle, the particle will be restricted to one-dimensional movement.

Re:This phenomenon closely related to: (3, Informative)

kurokame (1764228) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988300)

They're not making the tube one-dimensional. They're making the dimensionality of the problem of containing certain particles one-dimensional.

Yes, but tech blog made a hash of it. (3, Insightful)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988460)

Cheers, thanks. The main issue is that the blog really made a hash of the explanation with sensationalist claptrap:

amazing properties of graphene now include the ability to create mass

... which is utter hokum. Further down the page, there are a couple breakdowns of the paper itself, which make it clear that what they're doing is what you say -- constraining the physics of a potential experiment to simplify the mathematics involved.

Cheers,

Abdulaziz Alhaidari (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33986944)

Abdulaziz Alhaidari is an Muslim, what do you expect?

Re:Abdulaziz Alhaidari (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33987552)

He's not a Muslim, you dumbass. Anyone can extrapolate from his name that he's clearly Japanese.

It's called our circle of science! (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33986948)

What once would require a massive high-energy particle accelerator can now be tested with carbon, electricity, and wires, according to the recent paper."

Out of the garage, into the lab, back to the garage. Bill Nye must be so proud :)

Re:It's called our circle of science! (4, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987862)

The link to the paper just gives the executive summary, which actually conveys little information. Even wikipedia wasn't much help. If there's a physicist out there, I get the impression that somehow leptons are being converted to fermions? If so, how, and why do they? If not, could someone give a good explanation?

This is fascinating, but I can't find much explanation.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17358966 [nih.gov]
Magnetic confinement of massless Dirac fermions in graphene.
De Martino A, Dell'Anna L, Egger R.

Institut für Theoretische Physik, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.

Abstract
Because of Klein tunneling, electrostatic potentials are unable to confine Dirac electrons. We show that it is possible to confine massless Dirac fermions in a monolayer graphene sheet by inhomogeneous magnetic fields. This allows one to design mesoscopic structures in graphene by magnetic barriers, e.g., quantum dots or quantum point contacts.

PMID: 17358966 [PubMed]

Re:It's called our circle of science! (5, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987966)

If there's a physicist out there, I get the impression that somehow leptons are being converted to fermions?

When life hands you leptons, make leptonaide.

Indeed, I'm not a physicist. How'd you guess?

Re:It's called our circle of science! (3, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988184)

Indeed, I'm not a physicist. How'd you guess?

Um, your user name?

Re:It's called our circle of science! (4, Informative)

kurokame (1764228) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988066)

Actually, the abstract nails what the actual news here is.

You can't confine a Dirac electron electrostatically. They show that it can be done with magnetic fields. This is sort of cool because it has potential ramifications for incorporating nanotechnology into electronics.

After the wharrgarbl, it mutates into a headline about creating mass and using it to power FTL starships from video games.

Goodbye old and apparently wrong laws of physics. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33986958)

Well now... That changes everyhing! (if true).

Can anybody summarize TFA? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 3 years ago | (#33986962)

Is this just a math trick, or what is going on here? I'm pretty sure "we're creating mass" is not literally what's happening, but I can't make heads or tails of it.

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (4, Funny)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987052)

I think they're just claiming the mass they expect to make next year, assuming they'll balance their mass sheets at that point?

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (2, Funny)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987998)

Yes, they're actually losing a little mass on each transaction, but they're buying "observations". They'll make is up on volume!

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (1)

Viperpete (1261530) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988464)

How many carbon nanotubes does it take to make Massachusetts?

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987096)

Yep. It's a math trick at this point. What's interesting is that even having a mass term in the equations implies that we COULD create mass, if we supply the proper conditions (like adding lots of energy at one end of the tube).

Or at least, that's my guess. TFA is an abstract that I'm barely understanding, and the linked paper is way over my head.

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (5, Informative)

Lobachevsky (465666) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987516)

All science predictions are math tricks. If the prediction holds up, our existing models are correct, otherwise, our existing models are broken. Creating mass from graphene is not a new theory, it is the _consequence_ of our existing theories that someone cleverly derived.

Point is, either way, Abdulaziz Alhaidari is now famous and has done the incredible. He's either famous for making a marvelous derivation of our existing theories, or he's famous for disproving our current models by explaining what our current models predict that would later be experimentally contradicted. Just as the Manhattan project was a test of atomic theory; if it worked, an amazing weapon was created; if it didn't work, it had profound ramifications on invalidating the the atomic theory of the day. Either it's a win for engineering, building something amazing, or a win for science, changing the models to more closely match reality.

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987686)

Or he will become famous like Fleischmann and Pons [wikipedia.org] .

Just sayin.....

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33987944)

"Just as the Manhattan project was a test of atomic theory; if it worked, an amazing weapon was created; if it didn't work, it had profound ramifications on invalidating the the atomic theory of the day."
That's an insane interpretation of the Manhattan Project... How in the world did you arrive at that conclusion?

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (0, Offtopic)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988732)

And if they ever make a lamp based on this, I can say:

AZIZ, LIGHT!

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988770)

Or

[X] He's a blithering crackpot.

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987936)

Create mass via lots of energy.

Like
E=mc^2

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (2, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988256)

No, more like a Catholic priest. They create mass from hot air, holy water, some wine and a cracker, don't they?

Physics can't do that!

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987100)

the best awnser I could come with is : We dont know yet:

There are some important mathematical differences between the mass that can be generated this way and the stuff you can rap your knuckles on. But now physicists have the chance to compare the effects in an ordinary lab.

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (5, Informative)

hcg50a (690062) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987158)

The /. title of this article is wrong, stupid and misleading.

The title of TFA is "Dynamical mass generation via space compactification in graphene", which is mostly incomprehensible.

The abstract sez "Fermions in a graphene sheet behave like massless particles. We show that by folding the sheet into a tube they acquire non-zero effective mass as they move along the tube axis. That is, changing the space topology of graphene from 2D to 1D (space compactification) changes the 2D massless problem into an effective massive 1D problem."

A plain english annotated translation is "Electrons in a graphene sheet behave like massless particles. We show that by folding the sheet into a tube they behave like massive particles as they move along the tube axis. That is, changing the shape of graphene from 2D to 1D changes the 2D massless problem into an effective 1D massive problem, which may be easier to solve or model or understand in certain respects.

Note electrons have the same real mass in both cases. Mass is not being created or destroyed.

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (1)

kurokame (1764228) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987392)

"Physicists say" - the ultimate idiot switch activator.

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (2, Funny)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987688)

I thought that was "Hold my beer and watch my try this... "

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33987654)

In plain english, subatomics, from the title.

Plain english doesn't assume a finite universe can create by ignorance to the law of conservation.

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987742)

kdawson posted it, but I wonder if that's his fault or eldavojohn's.

edj, I know you read regularly, so what do you have to say?

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988264)

edj, I know you can read, so what do you have to say?

FTFY

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988000)

I didn't RTFA or anything, single walled nanotubes are just rolled up graphene, everyone already knows that the electrons in SWNTs have a non-zero effective mass. There has been modeling done of SWNTs as well as of graphene, and actual measurements too for what it's worth. I don't know about actually modeling the process of rolling one up, but it would be unreasonable to expect anything else to result from that. This seems like an article about nothing new at all. Presumably they just did some fancy modeling and this is actually an article about their fancy model?

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988158)

It's only incomprehensible ifm yuo don't know what compactification is.

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (2, Informative)

gotfork (1395155) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988330)

The /. title of this article is wrong, stupid and misleading.

Seconded. Just to clarify, the only thing that's changing here is the dispersion relationship. In graphene the energy of carriers grows linearly with momentum due to strong spin-orbit coupling. In most materials the energy grows proportional to the momentum squared. People have known for a long time that you can do all sorts of things to graphene to change the dispersion relationship so that it acts like other materials. For a bit of a overview see http://www.lbl.gov/publicinfo/newscenter/pr/2008/ALS-graphene-electrons.html [lbl.gov]

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988450)

Electrons in a graphene sheet behave like massless particles

Minor nit: it ain't electrons that behave this way, but quasi-particles resulting from the interaction of free electrons with the substrate. The equations of motion describe the quasi-particle dynamics, not the bare electron dynamics.

But otherwise, yeah. What you said.

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988790)

So what you're saying is that he's saying that when you make nanotubes fom graphene you take away some of the magic that making the graphene gave you.

That makes a lot more sense.

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (3, Interesting)

Saishuuheiki (1657565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987298)

It seems to me that it's poorly worded. As far as I can tell, it's not 'creating mass' so much as it is 'creating dependency on mass'

Normally the equations governing movement of electrons are independent of mass. In graphene it appears we should be able to make it dependent on the mass of the electron.

So I believe the article is saying that they believe they can make some particles that didn't appear to have a mass have a new equation for movement that reveals a mass for them. The article mentions that there's a theory that these particles didn't have a mass before this point; that the actual changing of rules that govern movement creates the mass.

I like to think of it as the equivalent of creating charge. You're not actually making anything; you're just moving electrons/protons so they're out of balance. Essentially this could be the same thing with gravity.

Now if this could be reversed to make something mass-less, that would be interesting

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987500)

That sounds right.

TL;DR - the electrons (that always have mass) will act like it in this tube thingy, instead of the normal acting like they don't have mass.

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987722)

That would be one hell of a trick, given that electrons have less mass that either protons or neutrons do. And that even in Hydrogen where the difference is smallest you still don't have anywhere near enough mass to make that happen.

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (2, Informative)

Badge 17 (613974) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987374)

Math trick slash analogy. In graphene, electrons behave like massless particles traveling near the speed of light. What this means is that energy increases linearly with particle speed, rather that KE = 0.5 m v^2 , like you learned in physics 101. Particle physics people have argued that adding compact dimensions (rolled up) will change interactions, and these guys have showed that you can also get electrons to act like massive relativistic particles in tubes of graphene. I'm not an expert in the field, but this seems to be a little buzzword-heavy, rather than really groundbreaking. As far as I know, the connection between graphene and relativity had not taught us anything new about relativity, or how mass is generated, but it is kinda cute and gets headlines.

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (4, Informative)

radtea (464814) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988412)

In graphene, electrons behave like massless particles traveling near the speed of light.

No, electrons do not.

"Charge carriers", which in the case of graphene are quasi-particles that result from the interaction of electrons with the more-or-less 2D medium, do.

The difference is tremendously important, althought admitedly your explaination is about a million times better than the gibberish in the headline and summary.

This is interesting and legitmate physics: charge-carrying quasi-particles in 2D graphene behave as massless particles in a 2+1D spacetime (according to the paper, at least.) If you role the sheet up the dynamics of the quasi-particles becomes that of massive particles in a 1+1D spacetime. This allows experimental realization of systems described by relativistic dynamics (the Dirac Equation) under much simpler circumstances than one might generally expect.

This is similar to the research on "solid state monopoles" which behave like Dirac monopoles over large distance scales. They allow the study of a wide range of phenomena that are otherwise inaccessible (and in the case of Dirac monopoles, entirely theoretical!)

No mass in the ordinary sense of the term is created in the situation the paper describes. If you weighted the system with a sufficiently sensitive balance you would not find that the apparatus weighted more when the graphene sheet was rolled up.

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (4, Informative)

CraftyJack (1031736) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987898)

It's a "math trick", and not a new one. From TFP:

Recall that this method of mass generation has been utilized exclusively in high energy physics, supergravity, string theory and related fields [9]. To the best of our knowledge, the present work constitutes the first successful application of this method in condensed matter physics. Another example of space compactification is found in a system consisting of a stack of graphene sheets with coupling between the layers making the massless 3D problem equivalent to an effective massive 2D problem [8].

In other words: "We applied an existing math trick to a new area of theoretical physics, and things look good so far."
You take that, feed it to the "Technology Review" blog, and you get:

The amazing properties of graphene now include the ability to create mass, according to a new prediction.

...which is not quite the same.

Re:Can anybody summarize TFA? (2, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988212)

I asked a similar question, and this guy seems to have nailed it. [slashdot.org] I hope the mods notice his answer.

Well... (1)

lavacano201014 (999580) | more than 3 years ago | (#33986970)

This sounds like a very complicated way of saying "The toothpaste tube makes more toothpaste when you aren't using it."

Re:Well... (3, Interesting)

Lobachevsky (465666) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987682)

I don't think they're suggesting more carbon atoms are being created out of thin air. It seems like they're saying it would have the same size and number of particles, but its mass would go up -- i.e. it would have more inertia. Lots of models in physics require "gaining mass" -- i.e. gaining inertia.

Einstein predicts as you accelerate to the speed of light, you gain mass in your reference frame -- i.e. it becomes harder and harder to accelerate yourself further because you appear to be getting infinitely massive. Einstein is not suggesting that your belly expands and you start generating more particles. He's using "mass" interchangeably with "inertia". Greater mass == greater inertia, when all else is kept constant.

Similarly, the experiment with graphene suggests that a proper configuration of it will yield something with greater inertia (i.e. greater mass) than its constituent masses imply.

Compactify? Yes, it's a real word. Sigh. (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 3 years ago | (#33986996)

I said, "No way!", but mathematics said, "All your English are belong to us." [wikipedia.org]

"Compactify" may be a real word... (1)

Girckin (831557) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987084)

...but it's being spelled "compactifiy" with an extra "i" in the summary. Double sigh.

Re:Compactify? Yes, it's a real word. Sigh. (2, Funny)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987180)

Thank God. I thought for sure that George W. Bush had become a /. editor. The extra "i" does leave open the possibility that Dan Quayle is working as a copy editor.

Re:Compactify? Yes, it's a real word. Sigh. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33987356)

Wow, a Dan Quayle reference. Looks like your Bush Derangement Syndrome is compounded by a bad case of Quayle Derangement Syndrome, which is sad since Quayle hasn't been relevant to politics in over a decade. You must be the guy at parties who spends the entire time ranting about politics, and who everyone secretly wonders wtf happened to you to make you so small and angry. While you're making cheap shots from your mom's basement at age 50, you might stop to ask yourself who was running Congress when the economy imploded. I'll give you a hint: they're the party of endless entitlements, and they wrecked the economy by trying to make home ownership into an entitlement.

Re:Compactify? Yes, it's a real word. Sigh. (1, Offtopic)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987792)

Actually, it takes a couple years for the effects of the leadership to come about. Meaning that a couple years after the Republicans lost their majorities we were still watching that wind down when the financial crisis hit.

But then again why bother with logic or the truth when we can blame the people without any money for the behavior of the banking industry and Wall Street.

Re:Compactify? Yes, it's a real word. Sigh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988610)

But then again why bother with logic or the truth when we can blame the people without any money for the behavior of the banking industry and Wall Street.

You mean their behavior before or after Congress twisted their arms to encourage them loan money to people who would probably had a hard time getting a loan before the arm twisting occurred?

Obviously a weapon of graphene distruction (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987012)

I'll alert Saudi Arabia and arrange for them to declare jihad on these scientists and their sharp pencils!

Re:Obviously a weapon of graphene distruction (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33987086)

except... all but one of them work in/for Saudi Arabia?!

Re:Obviously a weapon of graphene distruction (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987250)

Even better - since Saudi Arabia is our enemy not our ally, if they attack themselves it's a win-win!

Well, except for the graphene nano-tubes' families.

And maybe the erasers that depend on them.

Re:Obviously a weapon of graphene distruction (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987172)

Truly the (graphite) pen is mightier than the sword!

We call it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33987028)

the Mass Effect.

Re:We call it (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988642)

I think you mean Massificationization Effect.

LOL, goodbye LHC! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33987036)

Nice to see one man's calculations relegate mankind's most advanced and complicated machine to obsolescence.

Re:LOL, goodbye LHC! (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987574)

The LHC, now available in pocket format!

Re:LOL, goodbye LHC! (1)

immakiku (777365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988230)

Seems like they've made the calculations, but there's nothing that claims they've come up with a method to compactify the graphene. Otherwise they would have reproduced it and observed the effects already.

Analogy is not identity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33987148)

You can't prove anything about high-energy physics based on analogous systems in condensed matter physics. The equations describing the orbit of the Earth around the Sun (Newton's gravitation) are the same as those thought to describe the orbit of an electron around a hydrogen nucleus (Coulomb's law). Does the Earth's orbit prove that's how the atom works? NO! You forgot quantum mechanics, you idiots! Analogy is NOT identity! Stop printing these dumb-ass fucking articles. Ugh! (IAA(very angry)PP)

Re:Analogy is not identity! (3, Funny)

Kemanorel (127835) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987268)

Sheldon?

Dr. Sheldon Cooper?

Is that you?

Re:Analogy is not identity! (1)

Im_a_G3n1u5 (1926996) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987834)

Bazzzzzinga!!!!

Artificial gravity? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987156)

Fake mass = artificial gravity?

Re:Artificial gravity? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987270)

I was thinking this too, but it appears as usual that the summary is wrong and that this is just a way of reimagining a problem to better do calculations. No gravity guns/starships to see here, move along.. :(

Re:Artificial gravity? (1)

immakiku (777365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988258)

Gravity/mass isn't created. It exists and it's being made to behave like it exists (the mass presumably comes from the electrons). Plus they haven't discussed the input energy required to "compactify".

Not 1-dimensional (1)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987212)

Sorry, but I call BS. A graphene sheet is NOT two dimensional and after rolling it into a tube, it is NOT one dimensional. One dimension very thin != lack of dimension.

Re:Not 1-dimensional (4, Informative)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987340)

It's not the dimensions in which the graphene occupies that is 1D. It's the dimensions along which a particle moves. Graphene, being 1 atom thick, would normally be a sheet, occupying 3 dimensional space. The particles would move along the graphene in 2 dimensional space. If you rolled the sheet into a single atom thick carbon nanotube, it still occupies 3 dimensional space, but the particles will only move along 1 dimension.

Re:Not 1-dimensional (4, Insightful)

Xelios (822510) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987416)

If you RTFA they clarify that the tube is 1 dimensional as far as the electrons and holes are concerned, probably because instead of being able to move across the sheet of graphene in both the x and y directions they're now constrained to move only in one direction, up and down the nanotube. If there's only one possible axis of movement, then you're effectively in a 1 dimensional system.

Re:Not 1-dimensional (3, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987616)

And if you squeeze the nanotube very, very hard, it disappears!

Re:Not 1-dimensional (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988006)

no, it turns into diamond

didn't you see superman iii?

Re:Not 1-dimensional (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988614)

I think if you squeeze the nanotube, you get nanopaste on your nanobrush. But the key point is you can't get it back into the nanotube, and the person who solves that riddle will surely earn a Nobel.

mk

Re:Not 1-dimensional (1)

Guppy (12314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988772)

And if you squeeze the nanotube very, very hard, it disappears!

Unless you use it to fashion a container for nanotoothpaste. In which case, no matter how hard you squeeze it, there will always be a little bit left.

Re:Not 1-dimensional (1)

Ionized (170001) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987502)

1D and 2D are appropriate in this situation. they are discussing the movement of subatomic particles (a fancy electron i think), not the sheet itself. In a sheet of graphene, the electron cannot move up or down, it can only move along the surface - thus, its movement is restricted to two dimensions. Presumably, once the sheet is rolled into a tube, the electron's options are reduced to 'move this way down the tube, or move 180 degrees in the opposite direction down the tube' which is limiting its movement to 1 dimension.

note that i didn't RTFA, but based on a previous poster's summary, I am pretty sure this is what is going on.

(please, no pedantry about how the electron's movement is not truly 1D or 2D, as it exists in a cloud that allows for some freedom of movement in all directions. Since we can never really know where the electron is anyway, I assume that for the purposes of doing the calculations involved, it is most effective to ignore the bouncing-around-in-a-cloud aspect)

Re:Not 1-dimensional (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988014)

I guess when I send my deposit through the pneumatic tube at the drive through window at the bank, it acquires mass too...

1 dimension? (0, Redundant)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987278)

last time I looked, tubes had 2 dimensions... diameter and length...

Re:1 dimension? (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987464)

last time I looked, tubes had 2 dimensions... diameter and length...

No, that would be 3 dimensions. Diameter is really 2 dimensions, implying that the shape is circular within those 2 dimensions. Add in length, and you get 3 dimensions. However, the article is not talking about 1 dimensional tubes. It's talking about the 1 dimension in which the particles will move, since the tube is 1 atom thick.

Re:1 dimension? (1)

immakiku (777365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988314)

Parent post is obviously wrong, but your explanation is lacking as well. Diameter is not 2 dimensions. The cross section would have two dimensions. If one of them is the radius/diameter, the other is the angle.

Re:1 dimension? (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987494)

Now, imagine a diameter small enough to limit movement to that along the length...such as what is possible with a carbon-nanotube.

Re:1 dimension? (1)

DikSeaCup (767041) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987506)

If I had mod points I don't know how I would mod this. Up because it's funnily stupid, or down because it's just stupid.

The only explanation of your wrongness I'm going to provide is:

dimensions != measurements

Importance (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987346)

This is either total crap or Nobel Prize material. I'm not qualified to say which. Who's endorsing this paper?

Re:Importance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33987614)

It's neither. It's just what happens when you take a science journalist, try to explain a complicated mathematics problem to him, and he takes things to concretely, publishes them to a blog, and then a Slashdot editor gets his hands on *that*. Mass isn't created, it's just handled in different ways.

Just a few short years away from... (1)

Black Mage Balthazar (708812) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987432)

Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.

Re:Just a few short years away from... (2, Insightful)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987520)

We have that already. They're called baristas.

Another Word Please? (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987638)

I'm sorry, but "compactifying" just sounds so much like something Larry the Cable Guy would say...

Okay Then... (1)

Garrett Fox (970174) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987918)

"Squishing"!

Re:Okay Then... (1)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988372)

Unbiggening? Ensmalling? Belittling?

;)

It is pseudo mass, like pseudo force. (5, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987648)

Let us say you are hanging outside by holding on the window bars a long train (make it infinitely long train, who cares? it is theoretical physics, Also make it a train in India because most trains in Europe and USA have glass windows with no grab holds) and the train is moving with some speed. The outer walls of the train would not grab you and hold you against gravity. You have to hang on with your dear life. But if you curve the train track to make it circular, you will experience a centrifugal force that pins you to the outer wall of the train, and you can even let go of the window bars and shout, "Look! Ma! No hands".

Of course you know that centrifugal force is not a real force, but a pseudo force you conjure up if you are working on a reference frame attached to the train. From an inertial frame of reference, your velocity is being changed constantly. Change in velocity is acceleration. The change in direction would be towards the center of the circular track. That acceleration is centripetal acceleration. The train is exerting a force centripetal force on you. The reaction from your body on to the train for that force times friction coefficient gives you the force that is holding you still stuck like a fly on the wall of a train moving in a circular track.

As one who has spent years hanging on to the window bars of trains and buses in Chennai, India, let me tell you, no matter how many Einsteins tell you that is a pseudo force, it felt real and that I am still living, not having been run over decades ago by the next bus or train proves that centrifugal force is real. Not pseudo.

Similarly the fermions seem to be having a mass to satisfy some equation in some frame of reference after some coordinate transformation. But really it is not creating any mass.

Re:It is pseudo mass, like pseudo force. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988328)

Good analogy :)

Somebody mod this up for a clear explanation (1)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988352)

This is the first really useful explanation of the mechanism at work in what the paper authors are trying to describe. If only theoretical physicists and tech blog writers were so lucid in their writing.

Cheers,

small question (1)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988542)

Nice explanation, thx But why does your train need to be infinitely long? I would argue an infinitely long train has quite a problem driving in circles. Unless of course you hook the front of the loc to the end of the last wagon...

Re:It is pseudo mass, like pseudo force. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988654)

The fermions seem to be having a mass? Are they lighting candles and praying with rosary beads?

woudl this allow sub-ground states? (1)

matt_morgan (220418) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987652)

Would "compactifying dimensions" allow sub-ground states of Hydrogen, for example? Would fusion be easier to make happen inside a graphene nanotube?

So it turns out that Mass Creation (1)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987684)

Is all about Compactification!

Two Words: (1)

flnca (1022891) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987820)

Inertia Drive.

Not actually creating mass right? (1)

AnalogBrain (1882306) | more than 3 years ago | (#33987952)

So, if I'm understanding correctly, when when electrons move along a 2d surface, one doesn't have to account for their mass. When they are forced to move along one dimension, their masses have to be taken into account. We're not actually creating mass, but mass now has to be factored into the electron behavior. Is this because they're more likely to collide, or are at least close enough that mass/gravity becomes a factor? Is this even close to a lay-understanding of what's going on?

Toothpaste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33987994)

It's a real bitch trying to squeeze those last few electrons out of the bottom of a massless graphene tube

Whats the catch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33988024)

With the partical accelerator analogy the mass of an accelerated object increases as it's given more energy by the accelerator.

I assume anything with even the smallest amount of mass will still require massive amounts of input energy...? (e=mc2)

Can we use this to make atomic batteries?

Meaning of life (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#33988456)

We finally found it. If we make enough graphene sheets, we could save the universe from the big freeze, generating enough mass to make the universe to be cyclical.

What is more, considering the color of the coal, maybe we finally found that predicted "dark matter" that could had done that effect.
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