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Alexandra Bruce
October 14, 2014

O graphene! How do we love thee?
Let us count the ways.

You are the most conductive
substance yet discovered, even in
the most infintesimal of amounts –

Electrical cars will soon be able to
be charged with amazing speed, due
to your mind-boggling conductivity.

You perform all of the tasks of Indium,
the increasingly-expensive, rare-earth
element, which is currently used in
smartphone touch screens, but which
is also brittle and highly-degradable, yet –

You are hardy and flexible and are about
to completely revolutionize the
manufacture of smart technologies, as
well as technologies, in fields we haven’t
even thought of, yet!

All this – AND you are the sixth most
plentiful substance in the universe!

As a lubricant in many temperature
ranges, you ability to deposit single
hexagonal sheets of yourself are
evident, when we watch a pencil gliding
across a piece of paper during the acts
of writing or sketching, leaving layers of
yourself behind.

Some fringey-type geophysicists fret
that it is exactly your slipperiness, as
you are found in great abundance
throughout the Earth’s mantle, which
could lend credence to the once-accepted
and now refuted Theory of Earth Crust
Displacement, which ruled the thinking
of geologists and geophysicists until it
was recently (from a geological
perspective) replaced by the much
less-catastrophic and gradualist
Theory of Plate Tectonics, during the
1970s.

Where the entire lithosphere, of which
the Earth’s continents are the bits that
stick out and which was once thought to
have the ability to become “unstuck”
from the underlying, graphene-rich
asthenosphere of the upper mantle, as
an explanation for a number of things,
such as the current locations of the Earth’s
poles formerly having been located in the
tropics and vice versa.

These massive changes in the locations
of continents, upon the ever-rotating
Earth were once thought to be due to
mass slippage of the Earth’s crust,
triggered by theorized “fly-bys” of large
celestial bodies, which “unstuck” the
lithosphere and sent it slipping across the
astheosphere by the gravitational pull of
a passing body.

Like the Theory of Earth Crust
Displacement, many once-catastrophic
theories in many scientific disciplines have
since been replaced by more gradualist and
stately counterparts.

Because, after all – there’s nothing to see
here, move along!

===

From: The One Show, BBC1, 11th June 2013

Alexandra Bruce

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