A Drama. Location: Physics 111 Laboratory. Time: earlier today.
Me: I don’t think this potentiometer is working. I am varying the resistance… and look… nothing happens!
Lab Instructor: Well, go get a new op-amp. That one could be burned out.
Me: (dumbfounded) Oh… ok (fetches a new op-amp)
Lab Instructor: Put it in.
(I pull out the old omp-amp, and attempt to throw it away… but the pointy metal leads coming out of it puncture my skin, causing the op-amp to now be inserted INTO MY FINGER as opposed to into the circuit.)
Me: Ouch!!!!! (shaking finger, trying to loose the little bugger of an integrated circuit from it’s grasp IN MY FINGER)
Lab Instructor: …….
(he clearly has no sympathy.)
(I insert the new Op-Amp. The circuit works.)
Lab instructor: Yup. That was it. (He walks away as quickly as he can).
But in real science news: The Nobel Prize for physics was awarded yesterday. The Royal academy gave it to two Russian dudes working at the University of Manchester who developed graphene—a material that is one atom thick and strong enough to hold the weight of a truck applied over the point of a pencil. Apparently they discovered it with the help of scotch tape (that’s how all good science is done). Rumor has it they’ve upgraded the type of tape they’re using to something stronger, more reliable, which raises the question: where the heck is the Nobel Prize for the guy who invented duct tape? Talk about changing the world.
Interesting too, is the Swedish Royal Academy’s decision to give the prize to graphene, and thereby turning the eyes of the scientific community even more in the direction of Nanotechnology … precisely on the eve of the impending construction of ESS (research facility creating neutrons for Nanotechnology research) in Lund, in Skåne, in Sweden.