The Power of Motion: Physicist Paul Thibado Updates Listeners of 'Short Talks' About His Work

Paul Thibado
Russell Cothren, University Relations

Paul Thibado

In the February episode of Short Talks From the Hill, Paul Thibado brings us up to date on exciting new developments in his work to harvest energy from freestanding graphene.

Thibado is a professor of physics in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. His research has led to a rethinking of long-held notions on how the movement of atoms can be used as a source of power.

Working with graphene, a one-atom-thick layer of carbon that moves like a sheet on a clothesline on a breezy day, Thibado has built a circuit that generates small amounts of power. Decades ago, physicists predicted that this motion, called Brownian motion, could not be harvested to produce power.

"It was predicted in the '50s that if you had this type of what we call Brownian motion, this kind of thermal motion of the graphene, that for one it couldn't be used to power a circuit," Thibado said. "And it turned out that that theory that was done in the '50s was completely wrong."

To listen to Thibado discuss his research, go to Arkansas Research, the home of research news at the University of Arkansas, or visit the "On Air" and "Programs" link at

Short Talks From the Hill highlights research and scholarly work at the University of Arkansas. Each segment features a university researcher discussing his or her work. Previous podcasts can be found under the 'Short Talks From the Hill' link at

Thank you for listening!

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Paul Thibado, professor

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