Diamonds have a firm foothold in our lexicon. Their many properties often serve as superlatives for quality, clarity and hardiness. Aside from the popularity of this rare material in ornamental and decorative use, these precious stones are also highly valued in industry where they are used to cut and polish other hard materials and build radiation detectors.
More than a decade ago, a new property was uncovered in diamonds when high concentrations of boron are introduced to it — superconductivity. Superconductivity occurs when two electrons with opposite spin form a pair (called a Cooper pair), resulting in the electrical resistance of the material being zero. This means a large supercurrent can flow in the material, bringing with it the potential for advanced technological applications. Yet, little work has been done since to investigate and characterise the nature of a diamond’s superconductivity and therefore its potential applications.
The presence of diamonds in an outcrop atop an unrealized gold deposit in Canada’s Far North mirrors the association found above the world’s richest gold mine, according to University of Alberta research that fills in blanks about the thermal conditions of Earth’s crust three billion years ago.
“The diamonds we have found so far are small and not economic, but they occur in ancient sediments that are an exact analog of the world’s biggest gold deposit — the Witwatersrand Goldfields of South Africa, which has produced more than 40 per cent of the gold ever mined on Earth,” said Graham Pearson, researcher in the Faculty of Science and Canada Excellence Research Chair Laureate in Arctic Resources.
“Diamonds and gold are very strange bedfellows. They hardly ever appear in the same rock, so this new find may help to sweeten the attractiveness of the original gold discovery if we can find
It is estimated that over 10 million asteroids are circling the Earth in the asteroid belt. They are relics from the early days of our solar system, when our planets formed out of a large cloud of gas and dust rotating around the sun. When asteroids are cast out of orbit, they sometimes plummet towards Earth as meteoroids. If they are big enough, they do not burn up completely when entering the atmosphere and can be found as meteorites. The geoscientific study of such meteorites makes it possible to draw conclusions not only about the evolution and development of planets in the solar system but also their extinction.
A special type of meteorites are ureilites. These are fragments of a larger celestial body — probably a minor planet — which was smashed to pieces through violent collisions with other minor planets or large asteroids. Ureilites often contain large quantities of
HOUSTON and COLUMBIA, Md., Sept. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Scientists have offered new insights into the origin of diamonds in ureilites (a group of stony meteorites). These diamonds most likely formed by rapid shock transformation from graphite (the common low-pressure form of pure carbon) during one or more major impacts into the ureilite parent asteroid in the early solar system.
Previously, researchers have proposed that diamonds in ureilites formed like those on Earth — deep in the mantle of the planet, where the high pressures needed to form diamond (a very dense, hard form of pure carbon), are created by the weight of overlying rock. If diamonds in ureilites formed this way, then the original parent body on which they formed must have been a large protoplanet – at least the size of Mars or Mercury.
However, new research conducted by Prof. Fabrizio Nestola (University of Padova, Italy), Dr. Cyrena