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'Bizarre' Nanobubbles Found In Strained Graphene

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the put-them-in-very-small-asylums dept.

Science 84

schliz writes "Physicists have observed 'bizarre' behaviour in graphene electrons that they say could make the material even more suitable to replace silicon in future electronic devices. When strained in a particular manner, nanobubbles formed on a sheet of graphene, within which electrons came to occupy particular, quantum energy levels rather than the usual, continuous range of energies in unstrained graphene. By controlling electrons' energy levels, researchers could control how easily they moved through graphene — in effect, controlling their conductivity, optical, or microwave properties."

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First Post (Whoot!) (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33080600)

Whooooohahahahaha

FINALLY! (4, Funny)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 4 years ago | (#33080608)

#3 PENCILS!

Re:FINALLY! (2, Funny)

rvw (755107) | more than 4 years ago | (#33081198)

#3 PENCILS!

You got the wrong number. It should be like this:

1. Embrace.
2. Extend.
3. Exclude.
4. Extinguish.
5. PENCILS!
6. Profit!

Re:FINALLY! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33081674)

You got the wrong number.

Whoosh.

Re:FINALLY! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33082666)

My pencils go to #11. For when I need a little extra kick.

Re:FINALLY! (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#33083690)

Bizzare behavior sounds more like a #i pencil

Re:FINALLY! (1)

ImprovOmega (744717) | more than 4 years ago | (#33085186)

If you fill out a Scantron with a #i pencil, does it evolve into Skynet when it tries to read your test?

Technology reaching its limits? (3, Interesting)

Smidgin (912451) | more than 4 years ago | (#33080642)

On the one hand, things like this are really cool and it's nice to know that there is a future for technology beyond silicon.

On the other, at scales this small (1 atom thick!) it makes me realize how close we're getting to the fundamental limits that will prevent transistors getting denser or computers getting faster/better.

There are no limits with OSS (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33080696)

We are only reaching these fundamental limits because most research facilities insist on using closed source, proprietary software. If these organisations were to use open source software, like Linux, then people could inspect the source code of the software and make it better so that scientists could make more discoveries more quickly and overcome these 'fundamental' barriers.

Re:There are no limits with OSS (0, Offtopic)

dwinks616 (1536791) | more than 4 years ago | (#33081440)

Seriously? I like linux and all, but you are just a fucking idiot if you think it can somehow overcome the limits of not being able to make components smaller than an atom (or two or three).

Re:There are no limits with OSS (2, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#33081466)

RTFM NOOB

Re:There are no limits with OSS (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 4 years ago | (#33085812)

Go easy on him. He's using Ubuntu. He hasn't learned about Slackware yet.

Re:There are no limits with OSS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33081692)

And for that matter, most research facilities, at least in physics, DO use mostly open source software. Yes, the people on the bureaucratic/management side may use Windows/MS Office, but the people actually doing the science tend to rely on mostly open source software (developed by themselves or other research groups) running on Linux. And the programs that aren't strictly full open source still usually run under Linux.

Also, go back and take some science classes. Fundamental physics doesn't care about OSS or proprietary. There's still some hard physical limits you run into at small scales thanks to quantum mechanics.

Re:There are no limits with OSS (1)

mano.m (1587187) | more than 4 years ago | (#33083000)

It seems your sarcasm detector is malfunctioning. Please reboot.

Re:There are no limits with OSS (1)

asvravi (1236558) | more than 4 years ago | (#33084380)

Rebooting wont work, install an open source OS like Linux.

Re:There are no limits with OSS (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 4 years ago | (#33087928)

Windows error, please insert Linux Installation Disc and reboot.

Re:There are no limits with OSS (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 4 years ago | (#33086144)

It's Outlook. It messes up everything.

Re:There are no limits with OSS (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 4 years ago | (#33081668)

We are only reaching these fundamental limits because most research facilities insist on using a closed source, proprietary universe. If these organisations were to use an open source universe, then people could inspect the source code of the universe and make it better so that scientists could make more discoveries more quickly and overcome these 'fundamental' barriers.

Fixed that for you.

Yeah, I know, it's not that good, but give me a break, it's still early.

Re:There are no limits with OSS (1)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 4 years ago | (#33082722)

AC has a good point! http://openlife.cc/ [openlife.cc] explains this idea quite well.

Re:There are no limits with OSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33085294)

Where did you get that information?

Every one of the research facilities, biotechs, and scientific institutions my company (outsourced IT specializing in supporting science) uses open-source software for the majority of their research work, with Windows desktops relegated to things like scheduling and email. All the work we see being done is being done on Linux clusters.

I think you're just making that up.

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (4, Interesting)

dpilot (134227) | more than 4 years ago | (#33080712)

Ten-twenty years ago, science fiction had this nifty thing called "nanotech" that did all sorts of neat stuff. We still don't have Drexler machines, grey goo, or atomic-scale Digi-Comps, but I've been working sub-100nM for around 10 years now, getting smaller every generation, so we're getting into the ballpark.

But science fiction is not to be outdone, a few years back I read "Pushing Ice"by Alastair Reynolds. They had femto-tech.

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (1)

tenco (773732) | more than 4 years ago | (#33080812)

But science fiction is not to be outdone, a few years back I read "Pushing Ice"by Alastair Reynolds. They had femto-tech.

Really? Must have forgotten that. I mostly remember those networked slates that used distributed computing.

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 4 years ago | (#33081604)

The crew of the ship didn't have that stuff - it was the people from the far future. Remember the big cube they found?

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (1)

FriendlyPrimate (461389) | more than 4 years ago | (#33081900)

According to Future Timeline [futuretimeline.net] , femto-tech is not expected to come around until 2110.

By the way, if you've never seen the site, it's quite an interesting read (if perhaps a bit optimistic).

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (1)

ImprovOmega (744717) | more than 4 years ago | (#33085312)

Well, naturally Sci-Fi evolves as our understand evolves. It's like if you're standing on a road, and where you are is what science has proven/built/made possible, then Sci-Fi is what you can vaguely see off in the distance as cut off by the horizon. As you walk more towards it, you see it more clearly and near-term Sci-Fi becomes clearer, while far term Sci-Fi, what we can barely glimpse on the horizon, becomes even more distant than Sci-Fi of the past.

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 4 years ago | (#33085386)

That's one of the reasons I've been collecting the works of E.E. "Doc" Smith. It's a lot of fun looking at his view of the future, especially "engineers setting up complex integrals on giant calculators." On the other hand, in the same era you have Murray Leinster's "A Logic Named Joe" which is eerily prescient, even if the nomenclature is a bit off.

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 4 years ago | (#33086212)

I love H. Beam Piper's stuff [gutenberg.org] but yeah, having people setting signs in front of their video phone saying 'Back in 3 hours' is rather jarring.

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (1)

terminallyCapricious (1838672) | more than 4 years ago | (#33090270)

You can get some pretty good predictions by asking a bunch of experts and weeding out their more far-fetched ideas. It's not an exact science, but the results are certainly interesting.

http://paleo-future.blogspot.com/2007/04/what-may-happen-in-next-hundred-years.html [blogspot.com] is a good example. The hit rate is remarkably good (in particular, I like the "Hot and Cold air from Spigots", though some of the predictions are just crazy.

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (1)

renoX (11677) | more than 4 years ago | (#33094124)

>getting smaller every generation, so we're getting into the ballpark.

Getting in ballpark? Hardly!
There's quite a difference between writing 'IBM' with atoms (cool trick though) and building self-replicating factories.

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#33081068)

Nothing more than a poverty of imagination. Little more than a century ago atoms themselves were an unproven theory. A century from now we may be computing at subatomic scales, perhaps using EM instead of electrical currents, which would eliminate both the problem of transistor density and speed. (Research into EM acceleration may actually lead to FTL optical computing... light peak at warp speed so to speak.)

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 4 years ago | (#33081458)

O rly? And how would this work exactly?

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (1, Informative)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#33081698)

I'm a historian, not a physicist or engineer. Even if I were, could somebody who made typewriters a century ago tell you how a petaflop supercomputer would work? FFS, exaflop supercomputers are expected in a decade. All I know is that Light Peak [wikipedia.org] exists, and FTL EM research [bbc.co.uk] exists [universetoday.com] , and that suggests at least a reasonable potential for FTL optical computing.

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#33082306)

Read a little more carefully. You can't use group velocity manipulation of the kind in the article you linked to transmit information faster than the speed of light. So no, there is as yet no reasonable potential for faster than light computing of any kind.

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#33082562)

Did you even read the second article? There's a decade of development difference there, and yes, information has and can be transmitted faster than light. It really only makes sense, if ANY signal can be made to travel FTL, it's only a problem to put information into the signal.

People have made the speed of light into some weird sacred thing, and the fact is it's just set value in certain conditions (specifically a vacuum) but under other circumstances light can both speed up or even be slowed down [harvard.edu] to the speed of your car. People further put too much stock into relativity and treat it like its infallible when the theory is known to be incomplete and irreconcilable with all observable (let alone theorized) phenomena.

Once again, I'm not a physicist, I don't understand these matters mathematically and I don't claim to, but there is a lot more room to maneuver and a lot more developments have been and will be made than people like you and the others I have responded to seem to want to think.

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (3, Informative)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#33083268)

The second article is about John Singleton and the polarization synchrotron. Unfortunately that article, which has been regurgitated all over the net gets WAY ahead of itself. I wasn't able to find out whether Singleton actually claimed faster than light data transmission while talking to that reporter (I very much doubt it) or if the reporter made it up, but no such thing was demonstrated.

This [spacefellowship.com] article is about the same thing and Singleton specifically says that special relativity is not violated, which means no information could be transmitted faster than light. The description of what's going on also makes it clear that the effect is very similar to the "waving a laser at the moon" example (used by Singleton himself), which does not involve any information transmission.

The speed of light in a vacuum (yes, when people say "the speed of light" in this context they mean in a vacuum) isn't the sacred thing. Nor is relativity. The real sacred principle is causality which, like the conservation of energy, has never been observed to be violated and would lead to all kinds of weird stuff if it ever were.

Maybe someone will one day figure out how to transmit a signal faster than light. At present no one has even described theoretically how it might reasonably be done.

You say you're not a physicist. May I suggest you take a bit more humble approach when criticizing actual physicists? Oh, and don't believe everything you read on the Internet.

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#33084344)

How does something moving faster than light inherently violate causality? Causality is pretty simple, an effect cannot precede its cause. Big deal. No matter how much you speed something up, that doesn't make one dent in causality. If I could create a machine that could blow up rocks on Pluto with a latency of a second, even though that would require actions to occur at unimaginable speeds, that still wouldn't violate causality unless those rocks exploded before I pressed the button. And before you get your panties in a bunch about observation, do supersonic things violate causation just because we can't hear them until after they've happened?

You're also ignoring something pretty fundamental, that light constitutes a signal by itself. There is no way for either of those experiments or any like them to be conducted if they did not send and receive a signal of some kind, otherwise there would be nothing to observe. That signal may not have contained information, but as I said before "it's only a problem to put information into the signal."

(And the 'waving a laser at the moon' analogy is and always has been silly. There is nothing 'FTL' about arbitrary points of intersection in space. If I point my finger at a galaxy and then point my finger at a different galaxy, that doesn't mean anything at all. The same is true of different spots on the moon being hit by a laser. The laser isn't moving any faster, and the beam at it's terminus is not moving FTL, there are in fact gaps between the beams (as happens with all radial emissions) that increase in size as the beam radiates and account for the "difference" in "speed" between the changing of the emitter angle and the beam terminus. Take home point is that it's NOT THE SAME AT ALL as actually increasing the velocity of the wave itself.)

Just because I am not a physicist and suck at math does not mean that I cannot think and reason through what knowledge I have acquired.

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#33085856)

Sorry, I'm not going to listen to you spout things like "and before you get your panties in a bunch about observation" and then patiently explain it to you. If you care to actually find out the answers to your questions (they do exist), then you can probably find them using Google.

"Just because I am not a physicist and suck at math does not mean that I cannot think and reason through what knowledge I have acquired."

That seems to be the problem. Some of the knowledge you've acquired seems to be inaccurate and the rest appears to be much less comprehensive than you appear to believe.

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (2, Informative)

BungaDunga (801391) | more than 4 years ago | (#33086694)

IANAPhysist either, but I am pretty good at math.

Yes, FTL communication leads to causality violation. The "tachyon pistols" is a thought experiment that explains it:
http://sheol.org/throopw/tachyon-pistols.html [sheol.org]
You can argue this, I guess, but it falls out of special relativity. If these experiments already done actually do propagate a signal faster than light then engineering a paradox would not be that hard, and that would be huge news.

"By carefully adjusting the frequency of the voltage and the phase displacement the researchers say they can make the wave travel at greater than the speed of light. However no physical quantity of charge travels faster than light speed."
The experiment in the article is fundamentally the same as sweeping a laser across the moon. As I read it, they're basically shoving the EM field enough that one part wiggles, then another part wiggles, and if you calculate the "speed" as if the wiggles were a wave moving from one place to another then you get a number faster than light. However, the wiggles aren't actually causing one another and don't transmit information in the direction of propagation.

One of the funny things about special relativity is that subjective time slows down the faster something moves. An atomic clock in orbit ticks slower than one on the ground. When you hit the speed of light (you can't, if you've got mass, but say you're a photon) then time stops entirely. Photons do not experience time.

Actually, all photons move at the speed of light. The apparent speed of light can slow down, by putting a bunch of atoms in the photon's way. The photon is absorbed and another is emitted, and that takes time. It's possible to take that emission and slow it down almost arbitrarily, "freezing" light.

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (1)

khayman80 (824400) | more than 4 years ago | (#33087210)

How does something moving faster than light inherently violate causality?

Like this. [dumbscientist.com]

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33132890)

Could you please cite the mathematical proof for causality? ...dg...

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#33139054)

Even if I could, it would be meaningless. Mathematics, like any logical structure, rests upon a set of axioms that we must assume.

Causality is like one of our axioms for reality. There's no particular reason why causes should precede effects, but we feel strongly that they should, and if the principle is routinely violated then the universe will be much more difficult to understand. Causality may one day be abandoned, but it's a much more basic assumption than the inviolability of the speed of light.

BTW - that the rules of logic apply to the universe is also an axiom.

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33085400)

As a historian I'd expect you to know that typewriter -> computer is not a lineage.

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#33086398)

Yes I know about mechanical logic machines etc. as well, but actually you're wrong, because while typewriters did not, from an engineering standpoint, evolve to become computers, the personal computer inherited the role and function of the typewriter in society. A car is not anything like a horse, but I doubt you would deny that 'lineage'.

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 4 years ago | (#33090326)

A car is not anything like a horse, but I doubt you would deny that 'lineage'.

Dude, time to stop digging.

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33083374)

Being able to temporarily trap even ONE electron holds an amazing advantage for quantum computing, especially if you can make an array of traps out of the physical properties that only contain one each

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (1)

feranick (858651) | more than 4 years ago | (#33086710)

You are confusing the limitations of current technology (silicon) with new technologies. You will never be able to have a stable single layer of Si, for example, but you can (and it's fairly easy to do) with carbon. Carbon electronics is VERY different from Si electronics, it behaves in a completely different way. In other words, we are not reaching any limitations, but we are in fact opening new ventures into fundamentally different materials with new and very different behaviors. Practically speaking: Graphene transistors can already work at frequencies unimaginable for Si. Because of that I don't see the "1 layer thickness" as a limitation, but in fact one of the main reason for why graphene is so different and potentially groundbreaking.

Re:Technology reaching its limits? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33089674)

This is only true if transistors are the only way of building computers.

Hmmm, that's funny. (5, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#33080646)

"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...' " - Isaac Asimov.

Re:Hmmm, that's funny. (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 4 years ago | (#33080658)

Yes, but 'Eureka' resulted in a bit of spilled water. 'That's funny...' often ends in BOOM.

Re:Hmmm, that's funny. (2, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#33080694)

"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...' " - Isaac Asimov.

Thus, the quickest way to advance science is to take a bunch of straight-faced, literal scientists to see a comedian.

Re:Hmmm, that's funny. (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#33080706)

And on the other hand, the space elevator will not be developed until fifty years after everyone stops laughing. Now there's a paradox.

Re:Hmmm, that's funny. (2, Interesting)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 4 years ago | (#33080752)

And on the other hand, the space elevator will not be developed until fifty years after everyone stops laughing. Now there's a paradox.

You are malinformed, the space elevator EXISTS today and was created by Albert Hofmann [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Hmmm, that's funny. (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#33081262)

Wasn't that the guy who discovered LSD? Oh, I see you what you did here...

Re:Hmmm, that's funny. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33081760)

Are we gonna let de-elevator bring us down?

Re:Hmmm, that's funny. (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#33081536)

Except in this case it would be "hey that's what those guys predicted would happen if we did this", which isn't really a "that's unexpected" moment.

Re:Hmmm, that's funny. (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#33081620)

Come on, mods, that was more insightful than funny. Even Dr. Asimov's humor carried insight. You may not know that Asimov wasn't just a science fiction writer, but was a scientist who wrote science books geared to people of average intelligence, as well as research papers in his field, biochemistry (which of course would have been written at a postdoctoral reading level). Asimov did cancer research at Boston University, as well as some teaching. His nonfiction science books garnered him the title of "The Great educator". I learned quite a lot from Dr. Asimov's nonfiction.

Now this [wikipedia.org] is funny -

Asimov wrote the article on 8 June 1947, but he was uncertain as to whether the resulting work of fiction was publishable. He finally offered it to John W. Campbell, the editor of Astounding Science Fiction, his preferred publication outlet. Campbell was delighted with the piece, and accepted it for publication, agreeing to Asimov's request that it appear under a pseudonym in deference to Asimov's concern that he might alienate potential doctoral examiners at Columbia University if he were revealed as the author.

Some months later Asimov was shocked to see the piece appear in the March 1948 issue of Astounding under his own name. In later years Campbell insisted that this was an oversight, though Asimov maintained a suspicion that Campbell had acted deliberately out of greater worldliness, for, in Asimov's words, "The Columbia Chemistry Department proved far less stuffy than I had feared" and his examiners effectively delivered their favorable verdict on his dissertation by good-naturedly asking him a final question about thiotimoline. In Opus 100 (1969) Asimov called the thiotimoline article "an utter success", and noted that the New York Public Library "was pestered for days by eager youngsters trying to find the nonexistent journals so they could read more on the subject".

As to these graphene nanobubbles, I doubt they disolve in water before the water is added, but sheesh, the advances I've seen in my lifetime make me think anything is possible. [dailymail.co.uk]

Re:Hmmm, that's funny. (1)

sgtrock (191182) | more than 4 years ago | (#33085444)

I ran across a copy of a history of Europe that he wrote back in the '50s or '60s while I was a young sprout in the U.S. Navy in the late '70s and early '80s. His take on all the back and forth squabbling among the all the interrelated royals and their impact on trade, religion, law, economics, etc. opened my eyes to a whole new way of looking at the world. He is sorely missed.

quantum energy (1)

THEKPV (1867534) | more than 4 years ago | (#33080654)

This sounds really amazing.. quantum energy levels//
quick someone make a toroid with this stuff !
THEKPV [thekpv.com]
The Hybrid Electric Kinetic Photovoltaic Vehicle

Re:quantum energy (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#33081658)

When I read TFA (the one from Berkley.edu) I wondered if the pseudomegnetic behavior of the electrons could be turned into real magnetism in macromaterials. Any physicists out there care to enlighten me?

BTW, the second link in TFS was fascinating.

Texas Instruments (5, Funny)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 4 years ago | (#33080666)

Released a statement that it was developing a new line of Graphene Calculators

Re:Texas Instruments (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33080784)

Still no color

Re:Texas Instruments (1)

ctchristmas (1821682) | more than 4 years ago | (#33081614)

Also still the size of a brick and an extremely pixelated display.

I, think, there, might, be... (2, Informative)

morty_vikka (1112597) | more than 4 years ago | (#33080806)

... too, many, commas, in, this, summary.

Re:I, think, there, might, be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33080852)

I was going to say, too many sentence fragments in the summary.

Re:I, think, there, might, be... (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33081550)

It did have a rather amusing side effect of me hearing it in William Shatner's voice.

bizarre nanobubbles (4, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 4 years ago | (#33080828)

as opposed to the ordinary nanobubbles that you normally come across when you're straining your graphene

'Bizarre' Nanobubbles Found In Strained Graphene (1)

electism (1867570) | more than 4 years ago | (#33080858)

exhibits ‘bizarre’ behaviour when put under strain, you mean like a women.

Re:'Bizarre' Nanobubbles Found In Strained Graphen (2, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#33081966)

exhibits 'bizarre' behaviour when put under strain, you mean like a woman.

No, that would be "illogical and irrational" behavior, not bizarre behavior. And it doesn't even take strain.

Bizarre Strained (0, Redundant)

electism (1867570) | more than 4 years ago | (#33080904)

'bizarre' behaviour when strained, you mean like a woman

Amazingly high pseudofield (3, Interesting)

mattr (78516) | more than 4 years ago | (#33081070)

IANAP but my understanding is that the physical deformations or "bubbles" make electrons move in circles and attain energy levels as if in a magnetic field of 300 Teslas.
The LHC's cryogenically cooled magnets are only about 8 Teslas, and their substance theoretically can only handle 10T. The world record for continuous magnetic field is about 14T. The highest ever created explosively in the lab is 800T or so. So this is a really big (virtual) magnetic field. In other words the electrons must be at really high energy levels.

Some questions:
Is the energy level of the electron just a wierd quantum mirage-like thing? Or is it a real energy level that would release energy if allowed to drop down?
If you dropped a wire vertically onto the plate, would it create a current?
If you pop a bubble say from friction or maybe chemically what happens?
Is there any way to use this to perform experiments that could only be done in 300 T magnetic fields?
Are they really bubbles? Does one layer of graphene bloom up and expand into the top shell of the bubble?
Is it vacuum or air inside?

P.S. 3000K ? (1)

mattr (78516) | more than 4 years ago | (#33081230)

By the way and underscoring that IANA physicist, the below quote and this page [wikipedia.org] seem to indicate that room temperature gives a thermal voltage of 25mV and the electrons whirling in the graphene are hundreds of millivolts higher. Room temp. is 300 Kelvin. If we interpret "hundreds" to be "at least 200 mV higher", then let's say 225 mV above 25mV gives us 250mV or 10 times the thermal voltage, which is proportional to the temperature, meaning 10 times 300K = 3000K. So this seems to say that the electrons would at room temperature be like a plasma if they get out, or lots of sparks?

Crommie also noted, the "pseudomagnetic fields" inside the nanobubbles are high enough that the energy levels are separated by hundreds of millivolts, which is much higher than room temperature. Even at room temperature, thermal noise would not interfere with this effect in graphene.

Re:P.S. 3000K ? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#33082374)

Free electrons are already essentially a plasma. You can generate 9 V of potential (some 32 times what you're talking about) with a little 9 V battery. What happens if those electrons get out?

Re:P.S. 3000K ? (1)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 4 years ago | (#33082884)

If I remember correctly, the thermal voltage is related only to the build-in voltage of a diode and has nothing to do with the average energy of electrons.

Even aside from that, he is talking about energy-level separation not energy. It is important because it represents how much energy must be put into (or taken out of) the system to flip a bit (i.e. change an electron's energy state from one level to the next). If the background thermal noise is higher than the separation, then bits will just randomly flip. But with the levels separated by this much, it won't happen as often and you can build reliable bit storage.

In the grand scheme of things, an electron in a 24mV field isn't that much. A single photon of visible light has around 1.5eV of energy. So don't expect to see any sparks.

(I am not a physicist. I did take advanced courses in the physics of electronics and semiconductors as part of my degree, but that was a long time ago and I'm quite rusty.)

Re:P.S. 3000K ? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 4 years ago | (#33083724)

That is right, electrons on a metal have way bigger energy than what you'd expect from atoms at the same temperature. That happens because electrons are on a fermi condensate, and all the low energy states are ocupied. They don't follow the Boltzman distribution at all.

Re:Amazingly high pseudofield (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 4 years ago | (#33082272)

"In other words the electrons must be at really high energy levels."

Probably not, the most likely is that the electrons have very small orbitals.

By the way, electrons on a conductor normaly have energy equivalent to a several thousand Kelvin Boltzman distribution, but that is still way lower than what you imply.

Re:Amazingly high pseudofield (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#33082414)

If you pop a bubble say from friction or maybe chemically what happens?
Is it vacuum or air inside?

The graphene is one atom thick, so "vaccuum" is meaningless in this context. These "bubbles" wouldn't pop.

IANAP either, so if I'm mistaken I hope someone will correct me.

Re:Amazingly high pseudofield (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33087288)

1. as real as any other energy levels - i.e. you should be able to observe the energy difference in an electron changing levels (e.g. by interaction with light)
2. no current - this pseudo field differs from a real magnetic field that breaks time reversal symmetry (essentially half the electrons in graphene feel a field in the opposite directions - but the energy levels are degenerate regarding the effective direction of the field)
3. not sure - not easy to do, the energy concentration is high, close to chemical bonds.
4. not sure either - depends on 1 and 2 (i.e. some experiments - like this one (or anything else that depends on local density of states) - would work, some that depend on breaking time reversal symmetry, like a true magnetic field does, would not.
5. yes, these seem to be really bubbles - single layer of graphene forms the surface of the bubble; nothing between it and the underlying substrate.
6. vacuum - all of this was done at ultra high vacuum.

Grammar IS important. (1)

OtzInOz (22404) | more than 4 years ago | (#33081320)

Please learn the correct, use of the comma. This sentence does not make any sense as it is written...
"When strained in a particular manner, nanobubbles formed on a sheet of graphene, within which electrons came to occupy particular, quantum energy levels rather than the usual, continuous range of energies in unstrained graphene."

otz.

Re:Grammar IS important. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33081356)

Please learn that a comma after the word 'correct' is incorrect as there is no natural pause in that statement...

Perhaps think a bit longer next time before making such a douche of yourself?

Please learn the correct, use of the comma.

Re:Grammar IS important. (2, Insightful)

OtzInOz (22404) | more than 4 years ago | (#33081852)

Ever pause to consider that this may have been done intentionally as an example to demonstrate how bad grammar and punctuation can really fsck up the comprehension of a story?

otz.

They need to review the literature (3, Interesting)

Chelloveck (14643) | more than 4 years ago | (#33081902)

It's because electrons act as waves rather than particles in graphene sheets. Old news. Dr. Sheldon Cooper proved this [tv.com] months ago. Keep up with the literature, people!

huh? what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33083738)

When strained in a particular manner, nanobubbles formed on a sheet of graphene, within which electrons came to occupy particular, quantum energy levels rather than the usual, continuous range of energies in unstrained graphene.

Are those commas in completely the wrong place, causing massive migraines for anyone else, or is it just me?

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