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Wednesday
January 25th, 2017
7:00-8:30 PM

Kirkwood Station Brewing Co., Kirkwood, MO

Graphene: Particle Physics in Pencil Lead


Assistant Professor of Physics

Moderated by: Cynthia Wichelman, M.D.


Relativistic physics” typically conjures images of giant particle colliders or lessons on the twin paradox and the slower ticking of fast-moving clocks. Less likely to spring to mind are microscopic flakes of graphite, yet, such is the case for the physics of graphene, a single-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms. In this remarkable two-dimensional material, electrons fly from atom to atom as if they had no mass, acting for all the world like ultra-relativistic particles despite having an actual velocity just 1/300th the speed of light. Indeed, physicists have used this quasi-relativistic system to investigate long-standing theoretical predictions of relativity, that have eluded experimental confirmation for nearly a century. And this only scratches the surface! Among many other novel and useful attributes, graphene is the strongest known material, can conduct orders of magnitude more electrical current than any metal, makes flexible electronics a reality, supports levitation, and—as we will demonstrate—can be made using nothing more than scotch tape and pencil lead.

Science On Tap highlighted on St. Louis Public Radio and Voice of America!

Science On Tap is a place where, for the price of a beverage, anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. Meetings take place outside a traditional academic context, at the Kirkwood Station Restaurant & Brewing Co.


Meetings are held on the last Wednesday of the month during the academic year, usually from 7:00 - 8:30 PM. The standard format is as follows: about 45 minutes of presentation, followed by discussion until 8:30 PM.

Kirkwood Station Restaurant & Brewing Co.
105 E. Jefferson Ave.
Kirkwood, MO 63122
(314)966-2739

Register to receive e-mail announcements of future Science On Tap events.

Interested in learning about medicine? Check out Washington University's Mini-Medical School!

For more information: e-mail scienceontap@wustl.edu
or call (314) 935-9495

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