Diamond withstands a capture. Surprisingly, the product’s structure persists even when compressed to 2 trillion pascals, more than 5 times the pressure in Earth’s core, scientists report January 27 in Nature

The research study recommends that diamond is metastable at high pressures: It keeps its structure in spite of the reality that other, more steady structures are anticipated to control under such conditions. Studying diamond’s quirks at severe pressures could assist reveal the inner workings of carbon-rich exoplanets ( SN: 7/16/14).

Diamond is one of a number of varieties of carbon, each made up of a various plan of atoms. At everyday pressures on Earth’s surface area, carbon’s most stable state is graphite. Offered a forceful squeeze, diamond wins out. That’s why diamonds form after carbon takes a plunge inside Earth.

However at higher pressures than those found inside Earth, researchers had anticipated that new crystal structures would be more stable. Physicist Amy Lazicki and colleagues mauled diamond with effective lasers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility in California. X-ray measurements of the product’s structure revealed that diamond persisted, suggesting it is metastable under severe pressure.

Diamond was already known to be metastable at low pressures: Your grandmother’s diamond ring hasn’t changed into graphite. As soon as formed, diamond’s structure can continue even if the pressure drops, thanks to the strong chemical bonds that hold carbon atoms together in diamond. Now, says Lazicki, of Lawrence Livermore, “it appears like the same is true when you go to much greater pressure.”


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