Take the longest shortest journey of a lifetime! Travel a mere .02 millimeters over 4-hours, floating through 7200 individual single-atom sheets of graphene. Graphene is a relatively new wonder-material with amazing applications in technology and construction. The semimetal has high electrical and thermal conductivity, is transparent, waterproof, and hundreds of times stronger-than-steel. Derived from graphite like you find in pencils, graphene consists of two-dimensional sheets of rings of carbon joined in a hexagonal chicken-wire pattern. The material cracks easily, but holes can self-repair in the presence of available carbon atoms.
In this video, zoom through sheet after vertical sheet of two-dimensional graphene, threading the center of the smallest repeating unit-cell, the six-atom ring of carbon. By way of analogy, you can imagine 7200 pieces of computer paper all standing up, parallel to each other and perpendicular to the "camera".
In reality, this 4-hour journey would venture just .02 millimeters --- a mere 4% of the way through a piece of paper .5 millimeters thick. Atoms are so small!
Feel free to do the math.
Extra Credit: at this rate, (30 graphene sheets per minute) how much time would it take to travel all the way through an entire sheet of paper made of graphene?
There's more to learn about graphene on the wonderscience.com blog.
Music by Stuart Price.