Konstantin Novoselov: ‘I really don’t know where my Nobel medal is’ | Idea

Konstantin Novoselov: 'I really don't know where my Nobel medal is' |  Idea

Kostya Novoselov is Professor on the Nationwide College of Singapore Institute for Practical Clever Supplies and the Nationwide Graphene Institute on the College of Manchester, UK. In 2010, he and Andre Geim gained the Nobel Prize in Physics for his or her work on graphene.

As a toddler, my dream job was to check a parachute. My grandfather was a soldier and was on the skydiving crew. I’ve solely jumped as soon as in my life. Getting off the airplane was scary. There is a joke: You open the door a couple of kilometers up and also you see Google Maps beneath you. Are you afraid of Google Maps? It is actually enjoyable whenever you exit. It was an amazing expertise, I actually cherished it.

Individuals will in all probability guess that carbon is my favourite component. It’s certainly a exceptional component. It is so easy and versatile, however I by no means thought it was my favorite. I work on many alternative supplies in my life. I began with III-V semiconductors – gallium arsenide and many others. After which graphene and others. Now, niobium might be my favourite due to its superconductivity. I am fairly enthusiastic about this.

I do not make that a lot graphene today. I am positive many chemists can educate me rather a lot about graphene or different 2D supplies.

Individuals who stated I might be the subsequent to win the Nobel prize have been fairly damaging. pal of mine, Klaus von Klitzing, acquired the Nobel Prize in 1985 for the quantum Corridor impact. He stated if you concentrate on the Nobel Prize you’ll by no means get it. So I managed to disconnect from him. And you’ll see from my photographs from the day the award was introduced, that it got here utterly sudden. I used to be utterly unshaven, carrying an previous, soiled, holey T-shirt.

I actually do not know the place my Nobel medal is. Someplace on the college. I did not know the place to maintain him, so I requested our vice-chancellor Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell to carry him. It should be someplace. A minimum of I hope so. I have never seen it for a few years.

There are gaps that I used to be utterly unaware of some years in the past.

I am performing some chemistry now, no less than bodily chemistry. As an outsider, you discover blind spots extra simply than individuals on the sphere – you strategy issues from a distinct perspective and discover that they’re nonetheless unresolved. I am having the identical drawback in my previous area, you are ignoring some issues that are not effectively understood. You sweep it below the rug simply since you’re used to it.

Even my confidence in my very own area of physics is waning over time. The quantity of information I’ve is growing, however so is the a part of understanding that’s lacking. The extra we all know, the extra I notice that issues are far more difficult than that. Even in my area there are gaps that I used to be not conscious of some years in the past.

Science produces new information, one thing unpredictable, one thing that did not exist earlier than. It isn’t simply spinoff work. Discoveries come fairly unexpectedly, however you need to work exhausting to create them. You by no means know when they are going to occur. Most likely much like any artist or artistic author. You get caught writing or cannot predict when the subsequent masterpiece will likely be launched. However sadly, you need to work exhausting each day, whether or not it comes or not.

Frankly, essentially the most fascinating and attention-grabbing place I’ve ever been is my laboratory. In second place is North Korea. It is like one of many Kafkaesque amusement parks – many parallel realities that by no means intersect.

Actually, I haven’t got a lot free time proper now. I just lately began a brand new institute and it takes numerous time. However I do Chinese language calligraphy, despite the fact that I’ve much less time for it. I acquired formal training in China. I do not know sufficient Chinese language to put in writing letters, however you may draw landscapes, you may draw unusual issues. I moved away from the standard Chinese language fashion, it is a extra trendy artwork now. I nonetheless use numerous Chinese language ink. I additionally use graphene ink.

On this world, there’s a lot that’s unknown in science. So long as you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you’re destined to return throughout some discoveries. However in the event you’re probably not enthusiastic, you will not achieve success even in the event you’re within the hottest house potential. So do not change the topic simply because it is trendy. Attempt to get pleasure from your job.

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