Who ever would have guessed that the business end of Dixon Ticonderoga No. 2 pencils would someday be the next big thing?
John Jaszczak, perhaps. He was not all that surprised that the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics was presented to two Russian-born scientists who created atom-thin sheets of carbon, called graphene, made from graphite. Jaszczak, a professor of physics and adjunct curator of the Seaman Mineral Museum, is a longtime fan of the mineral and was familiar with their prize-winning work. In fact, he supplied the researchers, Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov of the University of Manchester, with graphite crystals to use in their experiments. And, he appears as a coauthor on one of their papers, “Giant Intrinsic Carrier Mobilities in Graphene and Its Bilayer,” published in Physical Review Letters.