Marketplace has a new podcast for kids, "Million Bazillion!" EPISODE OUT NOW

Graphene material gets big investment from Britain

Stephen Beard Dec 27, 2012
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Graphene material gets big investment from Britain

Stephen Beard Dec 27, 2012
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The British government is plowing more public money into a miracle new substance. Graphene is said to be the lightest, thinnest  and strongest material known to man. It was developed in Britain and could revolutionize high-tech manufacturing.

Graphene is pure carbon formed in the laboratory into sheets only one atom thick — so thin it’s described as only two-dimensional. The material is also incredibly strong and highly conductive, a million times more conductive than copper.

Two Russian-born scientists at the University won a Nobel Prize for developing graphene and discovering its properties.

The U.K. government funded the research and, as finance chief George Osborn told the BBC, he’s putting up more cash to keep the economic benefits of the breakthrough in Britain.

“There was enormous competition from places like Singapore and the U.S. to get those two scientists over to the those countries,” he said. “We had to act quickly to step in and say: you know what? We’re going to provide funding in Britain for that activity.”

The government is handing over an extra $35 million to British universities to develop commercial applications for Graphene which could  be patented. There’s a huge array of possible uses: from touch screens to aircraft components.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.