tessellated beyond count
and scattershot across the

sky a blizzard of faces
broadcast and reassembled

in states of conditional
existence the virtual

images in our mirror
reversed and reconstructed

upside down on the back walls
of our eyeballs interlaced

with lies beating on windows
i’ll huff i’ll puff and all the

objects in your mirror may
be closer than they appear

Molecule of the Day: Graphene

Graphene is a two-dimensional indefinitely extending sheet of covalently bonded carbon atoms, which form a structure similar to that of a tessellation of hexagons. Graphite, found in pencil leads, consists of innumerable layers of graphene stacked on top of each other.

Its isolation was deceptively simple; after many years of trying to grow single layers of graphene on a matrix, some researchers simply took some tape, sticked it on some graphite, and peeled the tape off. A single layer was produced!

Graphene is aromatic; each carbon has 3 bonds, and one single pi-electron from each atom is delocalised across the entire plane. Consequently, graphene conducts electricity across its plane; for this reason, graphite also does so in the direction parallel to the graphene sheets that constitute it.

This is why graphene is seen to have great promise in technology; it is both transparent and flexible, and can also conduct electricity. As a result, it has been proposed to be used in various applications, such as solar panels and touchscreens.

It also has exceptional tensile strength; compared to steel of equal thickness, it is 100-200 times stronger. This has led it to be considered as a structural material; tennis rackets and cars made from graphene have been produced.

Requested by anonymous