September 26, 2022

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Planetary collisions could have sent extremely hard diamonds to Earth

Planetary collisions could have sent extremely hard diamonds to Earth

Scientists in their research identified, in a rare class of meteorites, Hexagonal diamond which is called lonsdaleite. Fragments of cosmic rocks can come from the mantle of a dwarf planet. LonsdaleteLike diamond and graphite, it is a unique structural form of carbon. In diamond, the carbon atoms are arranged in a cubic shape, while in Lonsdalite they are arranged in a hexagonal shape.

Lonsdaleite was first discovered in 1967. In the Canyon Diablo meteorite It is named after British crystallographer Dame Kathleen Lundsdale. In new research, scientists speculate that this type of carbon’s hexagonal shape makes it harder than standard diamond, which has a cubic structure. This discovery may be Creating new technologies for the production of ultra-hard materials in the future. Researchers analyzed Lonsdaleite in urelite meteoriteswhich may contain material from the mantle of dwarf planets. In addition to the hexagonal form of carbon, they have also regularly studied shaped diamonds found in cosmic rocks.

There is strong evidence that the new formation process of Lonsdalite and ordinary diamonds is similar to Supercritical chemical vapor deposition processWhich in turn occurred in these cosmic rocks, possibly on a dwarf planet shortly after the catastrophic collision. McCulloch said chemical vapor deposition is one way humans make diamonds in the lab, primarily by growing them in a special room.

Scientists believe that lonsdaleite formed in meteorites at high temperatures and under increased pressure from a “supercritical fluid”. The harsh environment allowed the metal to retain the look and feel of graphite. When the environment cooled and the pressure decreased, lonsdaleite was partially replaced by diamond. The research team believes that industry on Earth can mimic the production of this amazing mineral.

As Andy Tomkins, team leader and geologist at Monash University in Australia, says, “Nature has provided us with a process that we can use and replicate in industry. We believe it. Lonsdaleite can be used to make extremely rigid machine partsIf we can develop an industrial process that promotes the replacement of preformed graphite parts with lonsdaleite.

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