Learning from a Nobel Prize Winner!
Our students were privileged to be invited to the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester on 11th October where they received a lecture from Nobel Laureate Sir Kostya Novoselov discussing numerous applications and methods of extraction of graphene. Graphene is a substance made up of a layer of carbon just one atom thick. It has the potential to revolutionise several technologies, particularly electronics as it will reduce heat loss and so increase efficiency, making devices last longer and work faster.
In 2004 Sir Kostya Novoselov and his colleague Andre Geim rediscovered and isolated Graphene at the University of Manchester resulting in the physicists being awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010.
Our students even managed to personally quiz Sir Novoselov before his lecture began. A tour of the institute followed this where our students were able to look at various labs which each carry out different methods of graphene extraction.
Our three students were most impressed with the high temperatures involved with the 'Chemical Vapour Deposition technique'. This was swiftly followed with pupils using the scotch tape method to extract their own graphene and they were given samples to take away. Kostya then showed the students the amazing properties of liquid nitrogen and demonstrated the power of electromagnetism allowing the magnet to levitate perfectly over the bowl.
A tour of the campus concluded the day where our students left with a great deal of inspiration and interest in Science!
Our Year 11 student Rebecca said, "I had such an interesting day at the National Graphene Institute learning about the future uses of graphene and how it will help advance technology. My favourite part of the day was creating our own graphene using the scotch tape method and viewing it through a telescope."