Graphene is the world’s thinnest and strongest material, made of a single sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal honeycomb pattern. Jae-Hwang Lee and his team from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst discovered graphene’s ability to withstand the onslaught of high-speed projectiles. They devised a new miniature ballistics test by using a laser pulse to superheat gold filaments until they vaporised, acting like gunpowder to fire a micron-size glass bullet into 10 to 100 sheets of graphene at 3000 meters per second. The team found that graphene sheets dissipated this kinetic energy by stretching into a cone shape at the bullet's impact point, and then by cracking outward radially. Graphene was found to outperform steel and Kevlar in absorbing kinetic energy, making it an ideal material for developing light, bullet-proof armor.