The Wonder of Graphene

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There are so many things to marvel at during our 80-day extravaganza –  at first you might by drawn towards the iconic landmarks and headline events, but sometimes the most impressive discoveries are a little less obvious.

If someone had asked me a few months ago what I’d be doing this summer, I doubt my answer would have involved the exploration of Graphene but that’s the thing about Great Exhibition of the North, it will take you on surprising journeys you never imagined and give you memorable experiences that will change the way you think about the North forever!

Swot Up on the Strong Stuff

Before you visit here are some facts about the “miracle material” to show you why it’s such a big deal.

Graphene is invisible to the human eye, a million times thinner than human hair but stronger than steel and conducts electricity better than anything else we know of.

This wonder material has been the source of fascination for scientists for many years but it wasn’t until two pioneering professors from the University of Manchester figured out how to extract it from graphite in 2004 that its future potential was really considered.

Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov made the ground-breaking revelation by experimenting with Sellotape (yes, Sellotape!) and it led to them winning the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2010 – which just goes to show, you never know what you might uncover by mucking about in a science lab!

Thanks to their amazing discovery in Northern England, the rest of the world can now explore the possibilities of using this incredibly light weight, super conductive, mega strong material to re-think the future of design and manufacturing. You can find out more about Graphene on this handy blog by Explain that Stuff.

Graphene-inspired events

During Great Exhibition, you can enjoy several graphene-inspired events that are sure to capture your family’s imagination…

intu’s Little Black Graphene Dress

The contrasting worlds of high fashion and hi-tech have collided and the result is quite extraordinary. Head to intu Eldon Square to catch a glimpse of the future of fashion with the world’s most technically advanced dress.

The Hexagon Experiment

Enjoy a Friday night out with a difference and celebrate the curious and creative spirit of Northern women in a series of experimental events inspired by the wonder of graphene.

A Light Bulb Moment

The Lit and Phil is the largest independent library outside London and this beautiful building in the heart of Newcastle is also where Sir Joseph Swann first demonstrated his incandescent light bulb in 1880. Step inside this fascinating venue during Great Exhibition of the North and you’ll discover how graphene is helping Northern entrepreneurs develop the next-generation lighting which could be in all our homes sooner than you think.

Rachel Kershaw writes Life in Geordieland, the blog guide to NewcastleGateshead.

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