This is quite amazing. Using a scotch tape to peel off a few carbon atoms, and here you go: Nobel prize (tongue firmly in cheek, I am sure there was more to it)...but the fact that you can do serious science with multimillion dollar funding and army of grad students is remarkable! Kris
You gotta love it; two guys get the Nobel Prize for pencil lead and Scotch tape! Seriously, this is the start of something huge! Carbon appears to be poised to challenge that other column 4 element silicon for dominance in electronics, so more power to Geim and Novoselov. Sure beats Obama's Nobel Peace Prize for his "potential". Don't get me started...
I went to his talk once and was truly impressed by sense of humor. What I liked most was his comparison of pure science and real world application. He said he once went to a dolphin watch in Mediterranean and everybody was ensnared by the beautiful sunset and playful dolphins until one child shouted "Mom, can we eat them?" :)
It's interesting to note that "playfulness is one of their hallmarks", according to the Nobel prize committee description. Maybe that's what we need to acknowledge. The 2010 physics was awarded comparatively quickly after the two laureates were able to extract the graphene from a piece of graphite in 2004 and show that such thin crystalline materials can be stable. Meanwhile, Andre Geim was awarded the Ig nobel prize in 2000; that prize is intended to "make people laugh first and think second". He managed to make a frog levitate in a magnetic field, considered an ingenious way of illustrating the principles of physics. More power to laughter!