Graphene

Story by Avi Gelfond | Graphic by AlexanderAIUS  

"Me Want Honeycomb!"

That may be the catch-phrase of a wacky weird little crazed Honeycomb cereal-eating maniac, but the sentiment is shared by scientists today. Is it because of the bright golden crunch of the cereal? Or maybe the way it was so carefully brushed with delicious honey flavor? Nope. These scientists aren't interested in a sugary-sweet toasted corn-based balanced breakfast. They want the shape. That little hexagonal shape fashioned after the home of the bees that keep disappearing. 

And with that, (and some scientific wisdom) we have Graphene! Think of a single layer of carbon atoms laid out in a hexagonal structure. It's incredibly thin (one carbon atom to be exact) and incredibly strong. Comparatively, it's about 100 times the strength of steel. Graphene at the thickness of Saran Wrap would support the weight of an elephant. This classifies it as the strongest material ever tested.

As of now, there are only a few Graphene products available, but there are more coming. So what could we do with this crazy strong, super thin material? Well if it was turned into an antennae, it could hypothetically move a terabyte of data a second. That's a little bit faster than a few service providers' LIGHTNING FAST SUPER PACKAGE OF 20 megabits per second. A little bit faster being 400,000 times the speed. No big deal. I'm sure going over the data cap by that much, won't be too expensive.

What else can it do? Let's see, there are the super batteries that charge in 20 seconds and retain 90 percent of the charge strength over 1,000 charge cycles. It can by used to amplify headphones, filter salt out of water and soak up radioactive waste. It's a step towards creating implants that can communicate to your neurological network and it's currently available in a tennis racquet produced by Head. There's a reason why two guys won a Nobel Prize in physics in 2010 for their work with this stuff.

Expect Graphene to be the new "aluminum frame" or "carbon fiber coating" of the next few years. Batteries, cars, computers and smart phones could all benefit from this stuff, so chances are, it's going to be everywhere. I mean, maybe not in your cereal, but who knows how this stuff tastes with few drops of honey on it.