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Home » James Tour: The Mystery of the Origin of Life (Transcript)

James Tour: The Mystery of the Origin of Life (Transcript)

Full text of chemist and nanotechnologist James Tour’s talk titled ‘The Mystery of the Origin of Life’.

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James Tour – American chemist and nanotechnologist

So I’m going to stand off to the side here because I’ve got to look back at them like in the old days where you have to look back at the slides and use a laser pointer rather than.

So go ahead to the next slide. This is just an overview of some of the work that we do in our group because many times there’ll be criticisms of those who speak at conferences like this, that they’re not practicing scientists, that they read papers and they write books. But I write very few books. In fact, I’ve only written one book and I’ll never do that again.

And I’ve written chapters for books, but only at great urging. Usually I just publish papers, and we publish papers in journals. That’s what we do in my world. And so we work in a number of different areas. And the reason I’m telling you all this is because I want you to see that I really am a practicing scientist. I rarely attend conferences like this. I’m usually in conferences with scientists and engineers.

But we work in an area called laser-induced scrapping. That’s where we can take, this is a polyamid sheet, and hit it with a laser and write patterns of graphene. Graphene is single sheets of graphite, one atom thick. And it’s the strongest material known at that level. And generally it’s made at high temperatures. And this is all done in the air with a laser. This is on bread. That’s not dropping down ink. That is converting the carbohydrate atoms in the molecules in the bread, these carbon atoms in that bread, to graphene. So we convert that. That’s a coconut we turn into a supercapacitor. So we can do it on food.

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