The godfather of graphene – by Adrian Nixon ( – October 3, 2016)

It is not every day you get to shake hands with a Nobel Prizewinner, especially if this particular Laureate is one Professor Sir Andre Geim who first isolated graphene (with his colleague Kostya Novoselov). I think this unassuming person will be one of the most important figures of the 21st century, read on to find out why…

I met the man in Manchester, UK, last week and I liked him. Andre Geim is not impressed by titles and honours. He does not like people calling him ‘Sir’ and discourages the use of the title ‘Professor’. Having these honours is satisfying for him from the point of view of an achievement provided it doesn’t get in the way of doing interesting work. Not for him retirement to the lecture circuit telling aspiring masses how to get a Nobel Prize.

If you are curious you can see what the Nobel Prize medal for Chemistry and Physics looks like at this link, oh, and it comes with a cash award of 8 million Swedish Kronor too.

“There is a lot of luck involved,” he says when asked why he was chosen by the Nobel committee. Don’t be deceived by his modesty, this man is in the top one percent of the smartest scientists in the world. By his own reckoning there are about five million scientists actively researching in the world.

So a Nobel Prize is awarded to individuals from a pool of at least fifty thousand other very smart scientists. This is what he means by luck. A previous winner of the same prize is Albert Einstein, you may have heard of him. Since 1901 the Nobel Prize for Physics has been awarded only 201 times, This is a rare achievement which contributes to its fame.

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