Related topics: quantum computing · carbon

Physicists have revealed new properties of Yakutia diamonds

TSU physicists, working with scientists from Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Germany and Korea, have discovered new nanomechanical properties of diamonds mined at the Skalnoe deposit of the Popigai astrobleme. Using a combination ...

In Yakutia, Russia digs for diamonds in permafrost

Diamonds are forever, and so is the permanently frozen ground of Yakutia in north eastern Siberia, home to huge diamond deposits that ensure Russia's supremacy in world production of the luxury stone.

Researchers teleport information within a diamond

Researchers from the Yokohama National University have teleported quantum information securely within the confines of a diamond. The study has big implications for quantum information technology—the future of sharing and ...

Potassium hunting on protein factories

Groundbreaking research at the new long-wavelength macromolecular crystallography beamline (I23) at Diamond Light Source has for the first time demonstrated the location of potassium ions in bacterial ribosomes. Ribosomes ...

New mineral classification system captures Earth's complex past

The first minerals to form in the universe were nanocrystalline diamonds, which condensed from gases ejected when the first generation of stars exploded. Diamonds that crystallize under the extreme pressure and temperature ...

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In mineralogy, diamond (from the ancient Greek αδάμας – adámas "unbreakable") is an allotrope of carbon, where the carbon atoms are arranged in a variation of the face-centered cubic crystal structure called a diamond lattice. Diamond is less stable than graphite, but the conversion rate from diamond to graphite is negligible at ambient conditions. Diamond is renowned as a material with superlative physical qualities, most of which originate from the strong covalent bonding between its atoms. In particular, diamond has the highest hardness and thermal conductivity of any bulk material. Those properties determine the major industrial application of diamond in cutting and polishing tools.

Diamond has remarkable optical characteristics. Because of its extremely rigid lattice, it can be contaminated by very few types of impurities, such as boron and nitrogen. Combined with wide transparency, this results in the clear, colorless appearance of most natural diamonds. Small amounts of defects or impurities (about one per million of lattice atoms) color diamond blue (boron), yellow (nitrogen), brown (lattice defects), green (radiation exposure), purple, pink, orange or red. Diamond also has relatively high optical dispersion (ability to disperse light of different colors), which results in its characteristic luster. Excellent optical and mechanical properties, combined with efficient marketing, make diamond the most popular gemstone.

Most natural diamonds are formed at high-pressure high-temperature conditions existing at depths of 140 to 190 kilometers (87 to 120 mi) in the Earth mantle. Carbon-containing minerals provide the carbon source, and the growth occurs over periods from 1 billion to 3.3 billion years (25% to 75% of the age of the Earth). Diamonds are brought close to the Earth surface through deep volcanic eruptions by a magma, which cools into igneous rocks known as kimberlites and lamproites. Diamonds can also be produced synthetically in a high-pressure high-temperature process which approximately simulates the conditions in the Earth mantle. An alternative, and completely different growth technique is chemical vapor deposition (CVD). Several non-diamond materials, which include cubic zirconia and silicon carbide and are often called diamond simulants, resemble diamond in appearance and many properties. Special gemological techniques have been developed to distinguish natural and synthetic diamonds and diamond simulants.

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