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brianok
2010-Feb-10, 03:12 PM
Wow, just imagine.

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Oceans of liquid diamond, filled with solid diamond icebergs, could be floating on Neptune and Uranus, according to a recent article in the journal Nature Physics.


link to story:
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http://news.discovery.com/space/diamond-oceans-jupiter-uranus.html

AndreasJ
2010-Feb-10, 04:19 PM
In what sense can liquid carbon be said to be "diamond"?

cran
2010-Feb-10, 04:38 PM
In what sense can liquid carbon be said to be "diamond"?
good question ...

in the article, they are making the distinction as
diamond>> liquid C >> diamond (increasing then reducing p), instead of
diamond >> graphite >> liquid C >> graphite (increasing then reducing t) ...

Glom
2010-Feb-10, 07:58 PM
Well that certainly is a turnip. Just to be clear, this is being inferred from the latest round of frivolity in labs rather than anything actually seen on Uranus or Neptune?

Diamond Bergson is certainly a cool prospect. What will the universe think of next?

My first thought was that this gives a bit of New World aura to the planets out there. But I don't think this helps the spaceflight cause much though. Just because the article showed a photo of a gem it doesn't mean all diamonds are gems. We use diamond as the teeth in drill bits. No way would we toss millions of pounds of precious rocks down a well.

We're getting close to being able to manufacture diamonds anyway.

Swift
2010-Feb-10, 08:14 PM
We're getting close to being able to manufacture diamonds anyway.
Very close. Industrial diamonds have been synthesized for over 40 years. Gem quality diamonds have been grown for maybe about 10 years.

cran
2010-Feb-10, 11:56 PM
Well that certainly is a turnip. Just to be clear, this is being inferred from the latest round of frivolity in labs rather than anything actually seen on Uranus or Neptune? ...
as far as I could make from the article ... yes ...
"we can do it in the lab - so maybe ..."

Jens
2010-Feb-11, 04:50 AM
Very close. Industrial diamonds have been synthesized for over 40 years. Gem quality diamonds have been grown for maybe about 10 years.

I'm not sure it's a question of being really close. My understanding, which may be wrong, is that we can manufacture diamonds. The problem with the gem quality diamonds is I think a paradoxical one, in that we manufacture them too perfectly. A gem diamond has to have imperfections, and it's the imperfections that are hard to recreate.

Also, diamonds deteriorate into carbon in the long-run. So it would probably be seen as a foolhardy idea to bring back carbon from other planets to the earth, when a major problem we are dealing with now is what to do with the extra carbon we are generating.

Swift
2010-Feb-11, 06:18 PM
I was being funny by saying "Very close". Glom's post said we're getting close to being able to manufacture them. I was saying the technology has existed for decades.

I'm unconvinced the problem is that synthetic gem grade are too perfect. Some features of diamond gems, such as color, could be considered a "defect", but most of the desirable features are not.

It is true that in some gemstones (amethyst for one) that the synthetics are more perfect than the natural, that this feature is used to distinguish between the two, and that the natural are more desired. But the desirability of the "natural" is just psychological (natural foods, natural gems) and has nothing to do with measurable quality.

I'm guessing that the economics of making gem grade synthetic diamonds is still not particularly favorable, but that's just a guess.

Yes, diamonds are ultimately metastable, but unless your spacecraft takes hundreds or thousands of years to make the trip, I don't think that's the issue.

Still, I can't see that shipping engagement rings from Neptune is ever going to be a business plan.

Arnold Rimmer
2010-Feb-12, 11:15 PM
I live very close to a geologically interesting region, gem-wise . I have found Ruby, Topaz, Sapphire etc. :) (Evje, Norway)

Sadly no Kimberlite pipes and diamonds, but still...

Geology rocks!

KaiYeves
2010-Feb-12, 11:23 PM
If I go there and fill a bucket, my mom will never complain about anything I do ever again.

01101001
2010-Feb-13, 01:38 AM
Wow, just imagine.

Reruns. From last month.

Article in topic Diamonds On Uranus? (http://www.bautforum.com/space-astronomy-questions-answers/23354-diamonds-uranus.html#post1664693)

Techist
2010-Feb-15, 03:59 AM
In what sense can liquid carbon be said to be "diamond"?
We're just talking about a phase difference. Carbon can be graphite, buckyballs, diamond, or, under the right conditions, liquid or gaseous; but it's all just carbon. But it does seem like a semantic blunder to call liquid carbon "diamond".

Jens
2010-Feb-15, 05:06 AM
We're just talking about a phase difference. Carbon can be graphite, buckyballs, diamond, or, under the right conditions, liquid or gaseous; but it's all just carbon. But it does seem like a semantic blunder to call liquid carbon "diamond".

I think that diamond refers to the specific configuration of carbon. So calling water "ice" might not be totally wrong, but I think that if you went to the ice rink and it was in liquid form, and the person at the door refused to refund your money, saying, "water and ice are the same thing," you'd probably be unconvinced.

I think you can certainly argue that using the term "carbon" to refer to "diamond" is OK, but using "diamond" to refer to "carbon" seems wrong. As in, saying "ice is H20" seems fine to me, but "H20 is ice" seems wrong.

Mike Holland
2010-Feb-15, 09:25 AM
I used to work in a diamond ladoratory, and we had all colour diamonds there. Most diamonds have a yellowish colour, dur to a small amount of nitrogen in the lattice. The blue-whites, which incidentally are semiconductors, have minute quantities of aliminium in them.

We use to make blue and green diamonds by bombarding them with an electron beam, and then heat-treating them. But that colour was just a skin effect.

My speciality was pink diamonds, which had some interesting physical properties. Put them in a beam of X-rays, and they turn white; then put them in sunlight and they revert to pink.

chornedsnorkack
2010-Feb-15, 09:56 AM
Both graphite and diamond have pressure of maximum melting point.

The underlying reason being that both graphite and diamond are inefficient at packing atoms and leave voids.

AndreasJ
2010-Feb-15, 12:16 PM
We're just talking about a phase difference. Carbon can be graphite, buckyballs, diamond, or, under the right conditions, liquid or gaseous; but it's all just carbon. But it does seem like a semantic blunder to call liquid carbon "diamond".

Precisely. It seems like refering to liquid water as "liquid ice III".