Chemistry
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Uncle Sam Diamond

A shinig Diamond

Diamond is one of the parent forms of carbon. 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 and the scientific applications in diamond knives and diamond anvil cells.

Diamond has a wide gap between valence and conduction bands, which means it has essentially zero conductivity. However, doped diamond can be a semiconducting material, and one which does not become excessively conductive at high temperature. It is being studied as a way to create electronic devices which can operate at temperatures which silicon-based devices cannot tolerate.

Properties[]

  • Diamond is the hardest known natural material on Earth.
  • Diamond conducts heat 5 times faster than copper, which is why it feels cold to the touch.
  • Pure diamond is the most transparent material known. It passes light in a range of wavelengths extending from ultraviolet through infrared.
  • Diamond can survive intact in environments that will destroy other materials. It can survive severe physical, chemical and radioactive forces.
  • If you place diamonds inside the human body they will not trigger an immune response. If inserted in the right way, though, diamonds can render the immune response irrelevant.

Uses[]

  • One of the most common uses of diamonds is in jewelry. Many rings and necklaces have diamonds. While such stones are attractive, diamond's hardness contribute to its value, since it is nearly impossible to scratch or otherwise damage a diamond.
  • Synthetic diamonds (man-made) are mainly used for industrial applications. They are bonded to the surfaces of metal tools, giving them the ability to work very hard materials and the quality of wearing slowly in service.
  • Other gemstones can be cut and polished by diamonds. Diamond dust must be used for cutting or polishing diamonds.
  • Windows that cover the openings of lasers, x-rays and vacuum chambers are sometimes made of diamond, although sapphire or beryllium are more common.
  • Diamonds are used as micro-bearings in many small mechanical devices. The main use is in watches.

Trivia[]

  • The name diamond is derived from the ancient Greek αδάμας (adámas), "proper", "unalterable", "unbreakable", "untamed", from ἀ- (a-), "un-" + δαμάω (damáō), "I overpower", "I tame".
  • Diamonds are the stable form of carbon in earth's mantle. Occasionally, particularly violent eruptions known as "kimberlite eruptions" bring diamonds to the surface. Because they are so strong diamonds can trap inclusions of other materials present in the mantle and keep them under extreme pressure when that happens. Such inclusions are our best look at the mantle's composition. One such material is Ringwoodite, which includes water of hydration in its crystal structure. Even more impressively, water in the form of tiny pieces of ice VII (7) have recently been found.

See also[]

  • List of Diamonds(under construction)
  • List of Minerals(under construction)
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