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Manchester: City of Science

The Science Festival is here and NMW is running a programme of themed walks alongside. The “Mad Inventors of Manchester” is sort of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” meets Ernest Rutherford, and there are other walks devoted to the story of John Dalton and Alan Turing, the point, purpose and practices of bees (the official Manchester animal, like Bolton have an elephant and Ethiopia a lion) and the story of the world’s first railways.

And it was only a few weeks ago that a Manchester University-based scientist won the Nobel Prize for physics. Manchester has long been at the forefront of scientific advance – from John Dalton’s explanation of atomic theory in 1803 to Rutherford and co’s discovery of the atomic nucleus in 1911 and the invention of the first programmable computer at Manchester University in 1948.

Now the plaudits go to Konstantin Novoselov who with his university colleague, Andre Geim, has invented the thinnest of materials – Graphene – just one carbon atom thick, which will revolutionise electronics and materials science. It means NMW guides are quickly re-writing their notes to fit these amazing developments in. Might be difficult finding just one carbon atom though.