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New study confirms exotic electric properties of graphene
Date:11/17/2009

cal physicists are interested in graphene for a totally different reason: It provides a new way to test their theories.

As electrons move through ordinary metals, they interact with the electrical fields produced by the lattice of metal atoms, which push and pull them in a complex fashion. The net result is that the electrons act as if they have a mass different from that of ordinary electrons. So physicists call this an "effective mass" and consider them to be quasiparticles. When traveling through graphene they also act as quasiparticles, but they behave as if they have a mass of zero. It turns out that graphene quasiparticles, unlike those in other materials, obey the rules of quantum electrodynamics, the same relativistic equations that physicists use to describe the behavior of particles in black holes and high-energy particle accelerators. As a result, this new material may allow physicists to conduct tabletop experiments that test their theoretical models of some of the most extreme environments in the universe.


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Contact: David F. Salisbury
david.salisbury@vanderbilt.edu
615-343-6803
Vanderbilt University
Source:Eurekalert

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