Scientists from Oxford University have developed a material costlier than our most expensive metals and precious gems! One gram of the material will cost £100 million.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, what is the most expensive material in the world? Oxford scientists have manipulated carbon and nitrogen atoms to bring forth an amazing combination of molecules that are even more invaluable than gold and pearls and diamonds.
The material is made of either 60 or 70 carbon atoms which are arranged in spheres inside of which a nitrogen atom is found. The molecular units (N@C60 and N@C70) that result are called endohedral fullerenes (bucky balls). The specific combination of the spheres makes of the material unique, surpassing previous forms in possible applications (and, obviously, in price!).
The team believes their findings might be relevant to the building of more reliable atomic clocks and GPS devices.
Current atomic clocks are made of atoms of caesium, and are quite big. The swift and constant movement of electrons along the different orbits surrounding the nucleus of the atom constitutes a reliable tool to measure time. Atomic clocks made from the new material will, however, be even more precise, and could be integrated into smartphones, as pointed out by one of its creators, Dr. Kyriakos Porfyrakis, in a statement to The Telegraph. This would be a huge step forward since the atomic clocks that exist already are quite bulky, almost the size of a small room.
As for GPS devices, they will be able to identify desired locations within one millimeter. This would greatly boost the industry dealing with self-driven cars.