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2011 American Physical Society meeting

Powerful X-rays illuminate hidden messages from the past, plus Lyme disease sensors and graphene transistors in meeting news

Practical graphene
A new transistor made from thin sheets of carbon operates 30 percent faster in electronic circuits than previous transistors made of this material, known as graphene. Scientists achieved this improved performance by using a new technique for growing cleaner, imperfection-free sheets of carbon. Adding  boron nitride improved the flow of current into and out of the graphene, Tomás Palacios, an engineer at MIT, reported March 21 in Dallas at a meeting of the American Physical Society. Palacios wired up his transistor to create the first-ever graphene electrical oscillator, a simple circuit useful in building flexible electronics tough enough and cheap enough to be embedded in everyday objects. —Devin Powell

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