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Russian-born duo share Nobel Prize for Physics


Stockholm : Russian-born scientists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov Tuesday shared the Nobel Prize for Physics for their pioneering work on graphene, a form of carbon, it was announced in Stockholm.

The two were awarded for “groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene”, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.

Graphene is a form of carbon and described as a completely new material that can conduct electricity just as well as copper and as a heat conductor “outperforms all other known materials”.

The duo extracted graphene from a piece of graphite like the kind found in an ordinary pencil, the academy said, noting the stir their article published in the journal Science in October 2004 generated.

“We don’t know about the possible applications for graphene yet,” Geim said in a conference call organised by the academy. “I hope, it can change our lives just like plastic did.”

“When I got the call from the Nobel Committee, I was answering emails. And when the call came, I thought: ‘… How exciting.’ But then I thought, now I will not get all the other nice prizes. But it is also very nice for my income that I got this prize,” Geim added.

The duo were to share the prize worth 10 million kronor (about $1.5 million) equally.

Lars Bergstrom, secretary in the Nobel Committee, told Swedish radio the material could possibly be of use in solar cells or electronics.

Geim, 51, a Dutch citizen and Novoselov, 36, who has dual British-Russian citizenship are both with the University of Manchester, England.

Geim said he had no plans to stop with his research.

“Some Nobel Prize recipients actually stop working afterwards. Some think, they just got it by accident. I do not belong to either of the categories. I will just continue. I am very proud of the Nobel Prize,” the Sochi-born researcher said.

The physics prize was the second of the Nobel awards to be announced this year. The medicine prize was awarded Monday to British researcher Robert Edwards, a pioneer of in-vitro fertilisation.