This morning the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics to two University of Manchester researchers. Drs. Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov were awarded the highest honor in physics research "for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene".
Graphene is a form of carbon that arranges itself into a unique atomic lattice structure from which emerges remarkable properties not usually intrinsic to the element. For example, graphene is a strong conductor of electricity, performing as well as the metal copper. Graphene is also transparent and extremely dense. Additionally, despite being arranged into a structure only one atom thick, it has been classified as the strongest material known on Earth.
The discovery and characterization of graphene by Drs. Geim and Novoselov has the potential to greatly and positively impact numerous fields, including computing, consumer electronics, "green" energy technology, and engineering, among many others.