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UK To Get £50m Graphene Research Hub

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the let-the-experiments-begin dept.

United Kingdom 40

twoheadedboy writes "The UK Government has made a big commitment to the development of the 'wonder material' graphene, the most likely candidate to replace silicon in computing chips in the future. A £50 million Graphene Global Research and Technology Hub was announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. It is hoped the facility will help commercialize graphene. The University of Manchester, where the material was discovered, welcomed the announcement and will be one of the possible locations of the hub. Right now, universities will be getting ready to apply for their chance to host the graphene hub."

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Space elevator (2)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37590448)

I hope they find a way to make it strong enough for a space elevator.

Re:Space elevator (1)

TenDollarMan (1307733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37590492)

And I hope there isn't a horrible accident with a 526 B30.

Re:Space elevator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37590724)

Yeah, those erasers [staedtler.com] are known to be dangerous... one of those'd wipe the whole damn thing out.

Re:Space elevator (1)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593164)

I know you're joking, but OP makes a serious point. One of these erasers traveling at 30,000 feet at 450 miles an hour can do some damage.

Re:Space elevator (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37590524)

Transparent flexible LCD screens would be nice. No more indium metal...

Re:Space elevator (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37590608)

Has anyone considered a space escalator instead of a space elevator? Just keep your space-boot laces away from the yellow lines.

Re:Space elevator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37590698)

Has anyone considered a space escalator instead of a space elevator?

Yes [wikia.com]

Re:Space elevator (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#37591508)

Well, I am working on a Space-Trebuchet. You seem like an excellent testing candidate.

Re:Space elevator (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#37590776)

And while we're dreaming, make transparent aluminum as well.

Re:Space elevator (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 2 years ago | (#37591364)

Apparently aluminium oxynitride [wikipedia.org] is pretty close.

Re:Space elevator (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 2 years ago | (#37591460)

I think that when people hear £50m they think it's basically bottomless money with which we can fulfill any scientific fantasy. But think about it this way: There are London mansions that cost more - without staff, equipment, operating costs, or anything else that actually produces science. Granted, Manchester is a cheaper market. Still, £50m is pretty small potatoes by the standards of big science.

Re:Space elevator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37593734)

When people hear £50m they probably think of a pretty large sum of money yes.
That is because there is a lot of people out there who doesn't know that £50m equals £0.05.
Yet another place were using capital letters correctly matters.

Re:Space elevator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37591778)

Transparent Aluminium is perhaps better known as Sapphire, Ruby or Tanzanite and it is in wide use for LCD panels, watch glasses and the like.

Re:Space elevator (1)

KliX (164895) | more than 2 years ago | (#37591466)

It's a 2D structure, so no.

Re:Space elevator (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37591596)

It can be rolled up into nanotubes.

Re:Space elevator (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37592942)

You do know that sheets of graphene can be stacked, and that stacking them increases their strength thanks to aptly named stacking forces that act between parallel aromatic systems? It isn't limited to a single flat sheet.

Re:Space elevator (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#37592860)

One big failing with the idea of a space elevator. Do you know what a guitar string is and how it works, now consider one kilometres and under enormous tension, definitely not good, good, good, vibrations. It would be interesting to see how destructive those resonant effects on that scale would be though.

Re:Space elevator (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37596852)

It's very hard for a standing wave to form on a 36000km long string, whose tension also varies with height. Vibration can cause problems but hopefully we will find a way to dampen it.

They should build it at Nottingham (2)

WillDraven (760005) | more than 2 years ago | (#37590522)

They should give it to Nottingham, because then we'll get to see updates on all the great research being done. If you haven't already I suggest subscribing to their awesome YouTube channels:

http://www.youtube.com/periodicvideos [youtube.com] ( http://www.periodicvideos.com/ [periodicvideos.com] for the table you can click on to see each elements video)
http://www.youtube.com/user/BackstageScience [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/user/sixtysymbols [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/user/nottinghamscience [youtube.com]
http://www.youtube.com/user/PhilosophyFile [youtube.com]

Re:They should build it at Nottingham (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 2 years ago | (#37591826)

They should give it to Nottingham, because then we'll get to see updates on all the great research being done.

Do you mean that at Nottingham someone would steal it and give it to the poor?

meanwhile in america (-1, Offtopic)

nimbius (983462) | more than 2 years ago | (#37590532)

the government is operating almost literally on a month-to-month basis, just barely avoiding financial default and shutdown. Its house majority a collection of pot-bellied reactionary bureaucrats who dismiss everything from climate science to alternative energy and evolution.

Re:meanwhile in america (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37590572)

the government is operating almost literally on a month-to-month basis, just barely avoiding financial default and shutdown. Its house majority a collection of pot-bellied reactionary bureaucrats who dismiss everything from climate science to alternative energy and evolution.

But on the plus side, their Slashdot stories aren't accompanied by a Mary Poppins apples and pears fucking cup o' tea shine yer shoes guvnor patronising horseshit fucking telephone booth icon.

Re:meanwhile in america (1)

gilleain (1310105) | more than 2 years ago | (#37590730)

the government is operating almost literally on a month-to-month basis, just barely avoiding financial default and shutdown. Its house majority a collection of pot-bellied reactionary bureaucrats who dismiss everything from climate science to alternative energy and evolution.

But on the plus side, their Slashdot stories aren't accompanied by a Mary Poppins apples and pears fucking cup o' tea shine yer shoes guvnor patronising horseshit fucking telephone booth icon.

Heh, that made me chuckle. What should the icon be, though? A double decker bus, a pint of real ale, a cup of tea and a cigarette? I'm struggling here to think of a symbol that represents all of us Brittanites.

welcome to the disunited states of trollvania! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37591000)

bad teef

Re:welcome to the disunited states of trollvania! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37593274)

Are you wearing one those wrap-around-your-head teeth braces?

Re:meanwhile in america (1)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 2 years ago | (#37590610)

The month to month this is just politics. It'll be wrapped up in thirteen months. At the rate we are going that is only four to five last minute averted government shutdowns. By time there are elections it is going to be overwhelmingly one sided for someone.

Re:meanwhile in america (1)

I Read Good (2348294) | more than 2 years ago | (#37590624)

I'm pretty sure that the United States spends more money on scientific research and development than any other country in the world...

Re:meanwhile in america (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37590676)

Few people realise that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, 40 year old George Osborne's first job was ... the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Born a top hat Eton millionaire, how he must be suffering through our credit crunch. During the corruption exposure it turned out whilst his chums were claiming for moats and duck houses, the UK public shelled out to repair the pipes running underneath his tennis courts. Tut tut, didn't mention that in your big speech today, but naturally even though caught red handed like the rest he got off scot free. The perfect man to spend our money for us.

Re:meanwhile in america (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37593686)

Um...he may be born into money but I don't think you know much else about the guy. Heck, his first job was a boring data entry job for the NHS [wikipedia.org] .

It also looks like he's got some good ideas about how to run an economy, which is a nice change from the last couple of chancellors we've had. As much as I hate Tory policy you can't deny that they know how to make a healthy economy, and right now that's what we need.

Re:meanwhile in america (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 2 years ago | (#37590788)

Meh. The government is hardly in trouble. A cut here or a cut there and we can throw a billion dollars at graphene research too. It's convincing the distinguished and respected senators where to make those cuts -- therein lies the problem.

This is good because... (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37590564)

We are having some problems with our silicon...
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Analysts-claim-worldwide-supply-shortage-of-silicon-wafers-this-year.50214.0.html [notebookcheck.net]

Good idea not to keep all the eggs in one basket, not a good idea to keep 7/10 of them in 1 basket either when it comes to a fundamental that keeps our technology spiraling forward.

So this is more of a reaction than a proactive move by the UK government ftw.

Re:This is good because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37590980)

that's a shortage of a manufacted good not raw materials... it says nothing about the relience on silcon it's self.

you analogy of eggs in baskets would be better to point out that we shouldn't house all these fabs in the same area (i.e. japan).

Re:This is good because... (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 2 years ago | (#37593994)

We are having some problems with our silicon...
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Analysts-claim-worldwide-supply-shortage-of-silicon-wafers-this-year.50214.0.html [notebookcheck.net]

Good idea not to keep all the eggs in one basket, not a good idea to keep 7/10 of them in 1 basket either when it comes to a fundamental that keeps our technology spiraling forward.

We should definitely not keep all of our computing eggs in one basket, lest the fate of Ringworld become ours.

Re:This is good because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37597790)

I'm not aware of how graphene can be used as a substitute for silicon - does it have the right semiconductor properties?
In any case, the problem with wafers is one of damaged factories not a fundamental supply limit.

Smart move (0)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#37590596)

Nice investment for the future. A bigger investment would be to find replacements for the materials the world has become so reliant on China for. Maybe some other AAA country will focus their attention in that direction.

What is Graphene? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37590618)

Here's a very simple but accessible explanation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX8ClPVkD1g

Re:What is Graphene? (1)

I Read Good (2348294) | more than 2 years ago | (#37590718)

Great link. Thank you!

Wooo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37590842)

Torchwood UK is back!

millipounds? (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 2 years ago | (#37597508)

50 millipounds seems like a tiny budget. 50M pounds seems more appropriate.

Morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37624494)

They should sink 1 billion into this research and make the UK the leader in this upcoming technology. Instead we'll be left behind.

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