Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Crystal meteorite has crunchy nougat center harder than diamond

Scientists recently discovered that crystals inside a meteorite that fell to Earth (Finland, actually) in 1971 are actually harder than diamonds. Harder than diamond substances have been created in laboratory settings by combining other substances (boron or nitrogen seem to be en vogue these days). But researchers haven't seen naturally occurring harder-than-diamond material until now. From MSNBC:
A closer look with an array of instruments revealed two totally new kinds of naturally occurring carbon, which are harder than the diamonds formed inside the Earth.
"The discovery was accidental but we were sure that looking in these meteorites would lead to new findings on the carbon system," said Tristan Ferroir of the Universite de Lyon in France.
"The only evidence we have for a higher hardness than diamond is the fact that we polished the rock section with a diamond paste and that our polymorph and polytypes were not polished by this material," said Ferroir. "This why we do think that its hardness is harder than diamond."
And no, there was not a male infant inside the meteorite upon it's descent the Earth. ;)

Full story.
Wow, and I already had crystals on the brain this week! I sense a convergence coming....

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