BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Diamonds may be more common than we thought according to a study recently published by chemists at Johns Hopkins University. The geological study was intended for exploring how the formation of diamonds occurs in nature and found that diamonds are made in nature much more often than we might think.
Diamonds are actually a form of carbon that are naturally formed at very high temperatures deep within the earth and contain a different atomic structure than carbon, in that its atoms are arranged in cubical shapes in what is called a diamond lattice.
A new way of making diamonds has also been discovered, when it was found that diamonds can form through the interaction of water and rock provided that the water is highly acidic, as that is the factor which will trigger the diamond’s formation.
This can happen when water passes from one type of rock to another and changes its acidity. The process needed in order for diamonds to form is called a constant redox and takes place under the Earth’s mantle in what scientists call subcratonic lithospheric mantle environments.
But this study shows that, while diamonds aren’t as rare as we think, we won’t be seeing them sell for pennies any time soon as they remain hard to find. As the scientists involved in the research explain, diamonds form at a depth of about 100 miles beneath the Earth’s surface and firstly need to be displaced from deep within the Earth and brought up towards the surface by rare volcanic reactions.
Also the diamonds that this research studies aren’t exactly fit for an engagement ring as they are of microscopic size and only measure a few microns, meaning they cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Although the prices of diamonds aren’t likely to be affected by this study, as the diamonds in question are found a hundred miles deep beneath the Earth’s mantle and are microscopic, the research has made some important discoveries in terms of the planet’s carbon cycle. This cycle refers to how carbon travels throughout the Earth from its core to its atmosphere.
The new model of diamond formation that the researchers have discovered now needs to be tested using the actual materials required, in order to verify that the interaction of acidic water and rock can, in the proper conditions, result in the formation of diamonds.
This is valuable insight on diamond formation, which is a subject that can be tough to research because of the incredible depth at which diamonds naturally form.
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