Wednesday, November 17, 2010

MC2 Post 845 Sweet Way to Make Graphene

– Just Add Table Sugar


There’s no doubt that the discovery of graphene is one sweet breakthrough. The remarkable material offers everything from faster, cooler electronics and cheaper lithium-ion batteries to faster DNA sequencing and single-atom transistors.

Researchers at Rice University have made graphene even sweeter by developing a way to make pristine sheets of the one-atom-thick form of carbon from plain table sugar and other carbon-based substances.

  In another plus, the one-step process takes place at temperatures low enough to make the wonder material easy to manufacture.




"Each day, the growth of graphene on silicon is approaching industrial-level readiness, and this work takes it an important step further," Tour said.

The Rice University team’s research is detailed in a paper in the online version of the journal Nature.
The Rice University Link

Leonid Meteor Shower Peaks Wednesday

Wake up early and look up tomorrow: The annual Leonid meteor shower is expected to peak in the hours just before dawn Wednesday and Thursday.

The Leonids come every year in November, when the Earth passes through a cloud of debris trailing the comet Tempel-Tuttle. When the dust Tempel-Tuttle leaves behind smacks into Earth’s atmosphere, the specks vaporize and blaze across the sky. It’s hard to predict how intense each shower will be, but astronomers expect this year’s Leonids to produce at least 20 meteors an hour. The full moon will set several hours before dawn, so its glare won’t interfere with the show.

The Leonids get their name because they appear to fly from the constellation Leo, a backwards-question-mark–shaped collection of stars in the eastern sky.


Leonid Fluxtimator

Calculate what is the best location for viewing the upcoming meteor shower, what night do I need to go out, and how active is the shower expected to be.

Calculate the meteor shower activity at your site.

The handy Fluxtimator Linked below is a Java applet that allows you to calculate the expected shower rate for a given date and a given location.  It also allows you to see the difference between staying downtown or moving out into 
the country side to a dark and clear location. 
All rates were calculated by taking into account the Moon light, but assume a transparent cloud-less sky and unobstructed field of view.

The Fluxtimator is infrequently updated with information regarding newly characterised showers and meteor outbursts. Keep tuned!




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