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A Weird Invention: Graphene

July 11, 2013

GrapheneImagine a smartphone as thin as a sheet of paper. Or after folding up your laptop…you roll it up and put it in your pocket. Amazingly, these kinds of products may be available within the next decade, thanks to some scientists in Europe hard at work developing an amazing new material called graphene.

Not only is the better-than-Flubber substance flexible and transparent, it can conduct electricity. And a sheet of graphene is only one atom thick—which means it’s actually hard to detect with the human eye. When stretched out, the material is tougher than steel and harder than a diamond. Along with featherweight phones and computers, it may one day be used to create interactive newspapers, much like the ones seen in sci-fi movies, such as Minority Report.

Grapheme was developed in 2004 by two scientists at the University of Manchester, who earned the Nobel Prize for their labor. Earlier this year, researchers at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology landed a $1 billion grant from the European Union to further experiment with graphene and explore other possible applications for the material. Here are a few ideas from this Japanese Samsung commercial:

Want more weird inventions? Pick up our latest book, Weird Inventions.

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