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Chapter 326: Relax A Bit
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
The speech ended with a round of applause.
Lu Zhou put down the chalk and looked at the audience.
This crowd is pretty good.
At least a lot better than the MRS Conference.
It was obvious that some chemistry and physics professors were able to understand some of Lu Zhou’s theory.
The scholars that had studied his thesis thoroughly understood more than 70% of his speech.
Lu Zhou was happy with this kind of result.
The award ceremony of the Adams Chemistry Prize came to an end.
Lu Zhou put his celebratory thoughts aside and decided to focus on the academic side of the Organic Chemistry Conference.
Even though he was on the cutting edge of research, there were still many things for him to learn.
However, the learning that occurred at a conference was different from the type of learning one would receive from inside a cla.s.sroom. A scholar that wanted to produce the knowledge needed to discuss with peers, read works of literature, and listen to talks.
And this was exactly what the Organic Chemistry Conference provided.
The next afternoon, Lu Zhou, who had just listened to an organic chemistry lecture, made himself a cup of coffee. He found a corner to sit down and quietly sort out the notes he had just written.
During the talk just now, a researcher presented a non-fullerene organic solar cell, a fluorinated binary heterojunction battery current-voltage curve, and the highest photoelectric conversion efficiency curve.
The data on the graphs were beautiful.
Although Lu Zhou wasn’t researching photovoltaic materials, he still had some knowledge of fullerene materials. What interested him the most was the part of mathematical a.n.a.lysis. The author of the thesis had a good mathematical foundation.
Lu Zhou planned to spend some time studying it.
Suddenly, he heard the tapping sounds made by heels.
A beautiful blonde sat across from him.
Lu Zhou looked up at the beautiful woman and asked, “Who are you?”
The blonde woman smiled and said, “My name is Roy, it is a pleasure to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you,” Lu Zhou shook her hand and said, “are you a university student?”
“I’m a master’s student from Harvard, but not a chemistry major.”
I guess she’s not giving me her resume.
Lu Zhou asked, “Reporter from the journalism department?”
Roy blinked and said, “Not quite.”
Lu Zhou smiled and asked, “You’re a writer?”
“Correct!” Roy snapped her fingers and said, “I’m a science writer.”
You’re actually a writer?
I guess there’s a difference between novel writing and science writing.
Lu Zhou smiled and said, “I didn’t expect writers to be interested in my research. I’m curious, why did you come up to me?”
Roy: “Actually, I signed up for the Organic Chemistry Conference to find the inspiration for writing. I didn’t expect to b.u.mp into the award winner of the Adams Chemistry Prize.”
Lu Zhou smiled and said, “I guess you didn’t understand my speech.”
“I didn’t, but it didn’t prevent your speech from inspiring me. Especially your insights on energy and materials, it brought so much inspiration to my mind.” With a serious expression, Roy looked at Lu Zhou as she asked with a sincere tone, “I have a few questions I want to ask you. I don’t know if I can borrow some of your time?”
Lu Zhou looked at the steam coming from his coffee cup, and he thought about his itinerary for the day before he said, “… You have time until I finish drinking this cup of coffee.”
“No worries, it won’t take long,” said Roy. She then took out a pen and notebook before she asked, “Then, the first question…”
Roy asked some superficial and mainstream questions.
Lu Zhou tried to use simple words to explain his thoughts.
Time quickly pa.s.sed by.
Lu Zhou finished his coffee, and since Roy finished asking her questions, she put her notebook and pen away.
“Thank you for taking the time to answer my question, I will send you a copy of my work.”
Lu Zhou smiled and asked, “Is your signature on it?”
Roy smiled and said, “I’ll sign it if you want.”
She then said in a joking tone, “This is my business card. I’m interested in you, maybe we can talk in depth next time.”
The gorgeous blonde looked at Lu Zhou in a flirting manner before she left.
Lu Zhou looked at her and smiled.
Talk in depth?
Even the professors from Cornell University don’t understand my theory; it’d be a waste of time to talk with you.
Suddenly, an unexpected acquaintance came over.
As Grynberg looked at Roy leaving, he said, “Your taste is good.”
Lu Zhou asked, “Do you want me to ask her phone number for you?”
“This does sound tempting,” Grynberg sat down on the sofa and said, “but I’m not here to talk about women.”
You’re the one that brought her up?
Lu Zhou looked at him as he put Roy’s business card away.
“So, what are you here to talk about?”
Grynberg said, “Nothing, I just want to tell you a piece of bad news.”
Lu Zhou asked, “Oh yeah?”
Grynberg looked serious as he said, “Mobil Chemical intends to join in on the production of lithium-sulfur battery materials. Not only that, but they have Professor Stanley as well!”
Lu Zhou thought it was something major.
He had a bored look as he said, “Oh, I already knew about that.”
Grynberg said, “Woods told you?”
Lu Zhou nodded and explained, “That’s right. The night before yesterday, he and Stanley came to visit me.”
Grynberg looked around and whispered, “Which step are they on?”
Lu Zhou asked, “What do you mean by step?”
Grynberg said, “I’m talking about research progress… Wait a minute, didn’t you ask them anything?”
Lu Zhou looked at him strangely and asked, “Why would I need to ask them anything?”
Grynberg was in disbelief while Lu Zhou sighed and said, “Honestly, I don’t understand why you’re being so cautious.”
“You don’t understand how insane the market prospects for sulfur batteries are,” said Grynberg. He then took a deep breath and restrained his anxious emotions before he continued, “Listen, Mobil is also researching positive electrode material for lithium-sulfur batteries. Their research and development direction is also carbon-sulfur composites and hollow carbon spheres! You just helped them in a major way! You shouldn’t have published the two theses!”
Grynberg wouldn’t be that scared if Nichia was ahead of him.
However, ExxonMobil was different.
This oil giant was in the upstream of their chemical industry chain, so they naturally had a unique advantage in the cost of raw materials.
If ExxonMobil became interested in the positive electrode material for lithium-sulfur batteries, it wouldn’t only hurt Umicore, it would hurt all chemical giants.
Just like there was a gap between geniuses, there was a gap between giant companies.
What did this have to do with Lu Zhou?
He wasn’t a Umicore shareholder.
“I don’t agree, communication is needed to create academic value,” Lu Zhou said. He then frowned and asked, “Plus this is my own research result, why can’t I publish it?”
“No, that’s not what I meant.” Grynberg noticed that Lu Zhou was annoyed, and he quickly said, “I admire your confidence, but the problem is that ExxonMobil is our compet.i.tor! In order to fight us, they have invested US$50 million on Professor Stanley! Do you understand what this means?”
Lu Zhou looked at Grynberg and didn’t know how to comfort him.
Obviously, Umicore was also researching the positive electrode material for lithium-sulfur batteries and had invested a lot of money in this project. In a sense, Lu Zhou was competing against Umicore in the lithium-sulfur battery project, but the compet.i.tion wasn’t as strong as that between Umicore and Mobil.
If Lu Zhou came up with the invention first, Umicore would receive part of the profits. If Nichia came up with the invention, then Umicore would take a hit. However, if ExxonMobil were to take the lead, then it would be a lethal blow to Umicore.
Because of this, Lu Zhou’s two theses made Umicore panic.
Especially because of the race with Mobil Chemical; no one knew how many meters away they were from the finish line. The two theses were like time bombs which caused Grynberg to lose his sleep.
Lu Zhou realized what he had done.
However, he would’ve done it again.
Lu Zhou paused for a second before he said with a gentle tone, “Relax, I’ve never viewed you as a worthy compet.i.tor.”
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