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Scientists Melt Diamond

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posted on Nov, 6 2006 @ 03:07 PM
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This may not sound special to the lay-person, but this is a significant
feat of technological prowess.



So much for “diamonds are forever.” Scientists at Sandia National
Laboratories have taken diamond, the hardest known natural
material on Earth, and melted it into a puddle.

Diamond isn’t easy to melt, which is why the scientists used Sandia’s
Z machine, the world’s largest X-ray generator, to subject tiny
squares of diamond, only a few nanometers thick, to pressures more
than 10 million times the atmosphere’s pressure at sea level.

To create the pressure, the machine’s magnetic fields hurled small
plates at the diamond at 34 kilometers per second (21 miles per
second), or faster than the Earth orbits the Sun.

Researchers were investigating how the diamond reacted to a range
of extreme pressures to see if it could be used to encase BB-sized
fuel pellets needed to drive a nuclear fusion reaction.


SOURCE:
LiveScience.com


This is pretty cool, before now I thought melting diamonds was
impossible, and that you could only evaporate them into CO2.

I hope there tests using it as a fusion pellet encaser are succesful,
as Fusion is something we need within the next three decades.




posted on Nov, 6 2006 @ 10:51 PM
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Nice post! I can't believe the amount of pressure that had to be generated to melt a diamond! Wow.



posted on Nov, 6 2006 @ 11:13 PM
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Slightly different as not melting, but heated diamonds dropped into liquid oxygen 'burn' very quickly. I will get a video to show this.

OK cant find video but NOVA has a nice article.

Their chemical composition was only discovered in the late 1700s, after pioneering chemist Antoine Lavoisier found a way to burn one. In this lab a real diamond is being heated to over 1500 degrees centigrade. After being dropped into liquid oxygen, the diamond burns completely. All that is left is carbon dioxide gas - proving that diamonds are nothing but pure carbon.


It would be interesting to know if the diamonds formed back when the pressure was dropped or if turned to a different carbon type?

[edit on 6/11/06 by Strodyn]



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 12:18 AM
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if they can melt diamonds, does that mean they can create them, by applying this pressure to carbon?



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 12:19 AM
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Originally posted by prototism
if they can melt diamonds, does that mean they can create them, by applying this pressure to carbon?


That's a very good question, one I'm not sure the answer to.

If they could, it would be very cool, even if it did destroy
the Diamond market.



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 12:20 AM
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Yes they can create diamonds. en.wikipedia.org... for examples



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 12:23 AM
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Strodyn asked:



It would be interesting to know if the diamonds formed back when the pressure was dropped or if turned to a different carbon type?

No, unless they could make Co2 into diamonds that easily.



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 12:23 AM
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Originally posted by iori_komei

Originally posted by prototism
if they can melt diamonds, does that mean they can create them, by applying this pressure to carbon?


That's a very good question, one I'm not sure the answer to.

If they could, it would be very cool, even if it did destroy
the Diamond market.
i remeber a great twilight zone episode about cryogenicically frozen bank robbers. when they wake up, they try to use their gold to buy some water off of a couple traveling though the desert. the couple just laughs, drives away, and says something along the lines of: "what a strange man. doesnt he know gold can be created in a labratory now?"

[edit on 7-11-2006 by prototism]



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 12:26 AM
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Originally posted by prototism
I remeber a great twilight zone episode about cryogenicically frozen bank robbers. when they wake up, they try to use their gold to buy some water off of a couple traveling though the desert. the couple just laughs, drives away, and says something along the lines of: "what a strange man. doesnt he know gold can be created in a labratory now?"


I saw that episode late at night when I was little, I thought of that as well.



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 12:30 AM
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Originally posted by Toadmund
Strodyn asked:



It would be interesting to know if the diamonds formed back when the pressure was dropped or if turned to a different carbon type?

No, unless they could make Co2 into diamonds that easily.


The original post suggested that the diamonds just 'melted', therefore the chemical composition did not change. My post showed the 'burning' of diamonds into CO2, my question was referring to the 'melting' of diamonds and whether or not they reconstituted following the pressure drop.

[edit on 7/11/06 by Strodyn]



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 12:56 AM
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Oh, so I was mistaken about you being mistaken.

My mistake, sorry.

But, on the other hand a molten diamond would no longer be crystaline, it would be mush, I'd say it would expanded and black?



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 12:59 AM
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That is pretty much my thought, so really when it is melted, because the lattice is gone, it is actually no longer a diamond?



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 01:31 AM
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A few points to make, based on some previous posts:

-diamonds are made of pure carbon, just like coal or graphite, only in a different crystal structure
-fake diamonds exist and can be made relatively easily. Try googling Cubic Zirconia. They are, in terms of their crystal structure, actually more 'perfect' than a real diamond, and this is how experienced gemologists can tell them apart! The zirconia has no flaws... :p
-the 'evaporating diamonds into CO2' is because the pure carbon in the diamond reacts with the oxygen in the air, making CO2.
-melting diamonds... how awesome is that???
I had never thought about it before, so I didn't realize that this was something new until I clicked on this thread, but that's fairly impressive. Diamond is the hardest mineral known, so to melt it "into a puddle" is no mean feat.



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 01:34 AM
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Fake diamonds are different than synthetic diamonds. Cubic Zirconia does not even have carbon in it. It only looks like a diamond. Synthetic diamonds are man made diamonds, made from carbon.

[edit on 7/11/06 by Strodyn]



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 08:24 AM
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Originally posted by Strodyn
Slightly different as not melting, but heated diamonds dropped into liquid oxygen 'burn' very quickly. I will get a video to show this.

It would be interesting to know if the diamonds formed back when the pressure was dropped or if turned to a different carbon type?

[edit on 6/11/06 by Strodyn]


No, you don't get the diamond back if you burn it! Combustion is a cemical reaction that creates new chemical compounds. Combustion creates CO2 and water.

See Combustion

Tim



posted on Nov, 7 2006 @ 02:57 PM
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My question, as advised in another post above, was questioning whether or not diamonds would reform after 'melting' that does not require combustion.

The first line in that quote is not referenced in the second line.....sorry for the confusion but I know what I was asking.

The phrase in my sentence "when the pressure was dropped" should of made it clear, as there is no increase in pressure required to burn a diamond.

Or to put another way, the first part of my initial post was adding the fact that diamonds can be destroyed through burning, the last line was a reference to the initial post about melting.

I was not referring to combustion in that question.



[edit on 7/11/06 by Strodyn]



posted on Nov, 8 2006 @ 03:04 AM
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Originally posted by Strodyn
Fake diamonds are different than synthetic diamonds. Cubic Zirconia does not even have carbon in it. It only looks like a diamond. Synthetic diamonds are man made diamonds, made from carbon.

[edit on 7/11/06 by Strodyn]


Oh, I never realized there was a difference between the two... you learn something new every day. Hopefully I didn't make any factual errors in my previous post on this thread.



posted on Nov, 8 2006 @ 05:19 AM
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I just thought. Now we have the capacity to make karge amounts of synthetic diamond, could we manufacture say, submarine windows from it? To travel substantially deeper perhaps?



posted on Nov, 8 2006 @ 05:36 AM
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the problem with traveling deeper isn't submarine windows.

submarines, in fact, do not have windows.



posted on Nov, 8 2006 @ 06:49 PM
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Originally posted by 25cents
submarines, in fact, do not have windows.


Well, Military subs don't, but research submarines do! If you aren't sure what I'm talking about, check out a picture of the Alvin:




See the small round window?

Tim



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