Banner
    The Wacky World Of Andre Geim: From Ig Nobel To Nobel
    By Hank Campbell | October 5th 2010 01:16 PM | 2 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

    I'm the founder of Science 2.0®.

    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone ever had. Others may prefer Newton or Archimedes...

    View Hank's Profile
    Is the name Andre Geim familiar to you?  If you are in science, you know him because he just won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on graphene with Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester.

    If you instead like to make fun of science, you may know Geim because he received an Ig Nobel prize for levitating a frog with magnets.  No, really, here is his paper Of flying frogs and levitrons.   He probably took the Ig Nobel in stride and had a good time at the dinner, since he said he wasn't even aware it was Nobel season before he got the call that he was the newest Nobel laureate in Nobel's most prestigious category.

    'Gecko tape', diamagnetic levitation and graphene?   This is a creative guy.  In 2001 he co-authored a research paper with his hamster - so he is a little wacky too.

    See the frog hover here, thanks to Geim and Sir Michael Berry:




    The Ig Nobels are no strangers to Nobels, it turns out.  As Improbable.com cleverly notes, at the 2000 Ig Nobel award dinner, Harvard physics professor Roy Glauber was sitting next to Geim and five years later he won a Nobel in physics.

    Lesson; maybe if you want to win a Nobel some day, you need to be a little wacky along the way - or have dinner with Andre Geim.   Levitating frogs and extracting graphene using a pencil and Scotch tape doesn't sound like Nobel material at first glance but it's certainly distinct, and the ability to make a one-square-meter cat hammock for an 8 lb. feline, that weighs less than a whisker, certainly makes him a favorite.

    Want to read more papers by Nobel winners?   The Institute of Physics has made it easy by compiling them all here.

    Comments

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Thanks for the link to the papers by Nobel winners. I have just read Andre Geim's paper about the frog being levitated, which was really interesting. Apparently the same technology has the potential to be used to induce a rather expensive face lift. "The third effect occurs for objects that are diamagnetically inhomogeneous, so that their different parts (e.g. flesh and bone for a living organism) have different s. Then, as just described for an extended object, the force balance will be different at different points. This could cause strange sensations; for example, if jjflesh > jjbone the creature would be suspended by its flesh with its bones hanging down inside, in a bizarre reversal of the usual situation that could inspire a new (and expensive) type of face-lift (since jjbone  jjwater (Schenck 1992) this would require jjflesh > jjwater)."
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Hank
    Let's call the Nobel committee again!