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RE: Carbon
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Scientists Create a Substance Harder Than Diamonds

There is a new substance that is harder than diamond. It's called Q-carbon, and it was created by researchers at North Carolina State University.
Before its discovery, there were two distinct forms of solid carbon: graphite and diamond. Q-carbon is not only harder than diamond, but also glows when exposed to low levels of energy. That could make it very useful for creating strong, bright screens for electronic devices.
 
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Natural 3D Counterpart to Graphene Discovered

The discovery of what is essentially a 3D version of graphene - the 2D sheets of carbon through which electrons race at many times the speed at which they move through silicon - promises exciting new things to come for the high-tech industry, including much faster transistors and far more compact hard drives. A collaboration of researchers at the U.S Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has discovered that sodium bismuthate can exist as a form of quantum matter called a three-dimensional topological Dirac semi-metal (3DTDS). This is the first experimental confirmation of 3D Dirac fermions in the interior or bulk of a material, a novel state that was only recently proposed by theorists.
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Carbon-60
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New form of carbon observed

A team of scientists led by Carnegie's Lin Wang has observed a new form of very hard carbon clusters, which are unusual in their mix of crystalline and disordered structure. The material is capable of indenting diamond. This finding has potential applications for a range of mechanical, electronic, and electrochemical uses. The work is published in Science on August 17.
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Graphene
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Honeycomb Carbon Crystals Possibly Detected in Space

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has spotted the signature of flat carbon flakes, called graphene, in space. If confirmed, this would be the first-ever cosmic detection of the material -- which is arranged like chicken wire in flat sheets that are one atom thick.
Graphene was first synthesized in a lab in 2004, and subsequent research on its unique properties garnered the Nobel Prize in 2010. It's as strong as it is thin, and conducts electricity as well as copper. Some think it's the "material of the future," with applications in computers, screens on electrical devices, solar panels and more.
Graphene in space isn't going to result in any super-fast computers, but researchers are interested in learning more about how it is created. Understanding chemical reactions involving carbon in space may hold clues to how our own carbon-based selves and other life on Earth developed.

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The Hoyle state
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Scientists have solved the fundamental question on how the Universe came into existence and how life started.

"Attempts to calculate the Hoyle state have been unsuccessful since 1954. But now, we have done it!" - Professor Ulf-G. Meibner (Helmholtz-Institut fur Strahlen- und Kernphysik der Universitat Bonn).

The Hoyle state is an energy-rich form of the carbon nucleus. It is the mountain pass over which all roads from one valley to the next lead: From the three nuclei of helium gas to the much larger carbon nucleus.
This fusion reaction takes place in the hot interior of heavy stars. If the Hoyle state did not exist only very little carbon or other higher elements such as oxygen, nitrogen and iron could have formed. Without this type of carbon nucleus, life probably also would not have been possible.

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Carbon
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The Hoyle state is an excited state of carbon-12 with precisely the properties necessary to allow just the right amount of carbon to be created in a stellar environment. The existence of the Hoyle state is essential for the nucleosynthesis of carbon in helium-burning red giant stars. The resonant state was predicted by Fred Hoyle in the 1950s based on the observed abundances of heavy elements in the universe. The resonant state allows carbon to be produced via the triple-alpha process.
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UMD Scientists Make Magnetic New Graphene Discovery

University of Maryland researchers have discovered a way to control magnetic properties of graphene that could lead to powerful new applications in magnetic storage and magnetic random access memory.
The finding by a team of Maryland researchers, led by Physics Professor Michael S. Fuhrer of the UMD Centre for Nanophysics and Advanced Materials is the latest of many amazing properties discovered for graphene.

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Graphene
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Title: Strain-Induced Pseudo-Magnetic Fields Greater Than 300 Tesla in Graphene Nanobubbles
Authors: N. Levy, S. A. Burke, K. L. Meaker, M. Panlasigui, A. Zettl, F. Guinea, A. H. Castro Neto, M. F. Crommie

Recent theoretical proposals suggest that strain can be used to engineer graphene electronic states through the creation of a pseudo-magnetic field. This effect is unique to graphene because of its massless Dirac fermion-like band structure and particular lattice symmetry (C3v). Here, we present experimental spectroscopic measurements by scanning tunneling microscopy of highly strained nanobubbles that form when graphene is grown on a platinum (111) surface. The nanobubbles exhibit Landau levels that form in the presence of strain-induced pseudo-magnetic fields greater than 300 tesla. This demonstration of enormous pseudo-magnetic fields opens the door to both the study of charge carriers in previously inaccessible high magnetic field regimes and deliberate mechanical control over electronic structure in graphene or so-called "strain engineering."

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Strain creates energy levels in graphene that are similar to those seen in very high applied magnetic fields.

Graphene, the extraordinary form of carbon that consists of a single layer of carbon atoms, has produced another in a long list of experimental surprises. In the current issue of the journal Science, a multi-institutional team of researchers headed by Michael Crommie, a faculty senior scientist in the Materials Sciences Division at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a professor of physics at the University of California at Berkeley, reports the creation of pseudo-magnetic fields far stronger than the strongest magnetic fields ever sustained in a laboratory - just by putting the right kind of strain onto a patch of graphene.
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UCL researchers are helping to unlock the secrets of a material that could ultimately be used in a new generation of electronic devices.
Graphene is a sheet of carbon just one atom thick the thinnest known material in the universe and the strongest ever measured.
It is 200 times stronger than steel and can carry one million times more electricity than copper.

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An international team of astronomers have detected carbon that formed one billion years after the Big Bang.
But the finding leaves astronomers puzzled as to how the early universe shifted from an opaque fog of neutral hydrogen to the star-filled, energetic place it is today.
The study, led by astronomer Dr Emma Ryan-Weber from the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne appears in a recent issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Using the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, and one of the twin Keck Telescopes in Hawaii, the team measured carbon that formed 13 billion years ago - the furthest ever detected in space and time.


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