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Harder-Than-Diamond Natural Carbon Crystals Found

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the twinkle-twinkle dept.

Science 250

HikingStick tips a piece from the science desk at MSNBC.com about a new, naturally occurring form of carbon found in a meteorite fragment. "Researchers were polishing a slice of the carbon-rich Havero meteorite that fell to Earth in Finland in 1971. When they then studied the polished surface they discovered carbon-loaded spots that were raised well above the rest of the surface — suggesting that these areas were harder than the diamonds used in the polishing paste... [G]raphite layers were shocked and heated enough to create bonds between the layers — which is exactly how humans manufacture diamonds... [The research] team took the next step and put the diamond-resistant crystals under the scrutiny of some very rigorous mineralogical analyzing instruments to learn how its atoms are lined up. That allowed them to confirm that they had, indeed, found a new 'phase' or polymorph of crystalline carbon as well as a type of diamond that had been predicted to exist decades ago, but had never been found in nature until now."

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One thing I don't get... (4, Interesting)

Looce (1062620) | more than 4 years ago | (#31002934)

... is why human-made diamonds, made the same way as that carbon-rich rock was discovered, are not harder than natural diamonds - at least, the summary seems to imply this. If it's graphite in both cases, then shouldn't both be harder than diamonds?

Re:One thing I don't get... (4, Informative)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 4 years ago | (#31007770)

The very end of the article suggests that they are harder than regular naturally occurring diamonds.

However, there is no way at the present to compare them to the artificial ultra-hard diamonds known as lonsdaleite and boron nitride, Ferroir said.

Re:One thing I don't get... (1)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008030)

So, are these naturally-ocurring aggregated diamond nanorods (ADNRs)?

Re:One thing I don't get... (4, Informative)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008144)

However, there is no way at the present to compare them to the artificial ultra-hard diamonds known as lonsdaleite and boron nitride, Ferroir said.

Boron nitride is not diamond at all, and lonsdaleite is described by Wikipedia as an allotrope of carbon that is found in meteorites and is harder than diamonds. Perhaps these people have just re-discovered something that was already known.

Re:One thing I don't get... (5, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008242)

They've got an odd definition of "diamond" there: boron nitride has no carbon in it. It's a chemical analogue of diamond, in that you turn half the C atoms (atomic number 6) into B (atomic number 5) and the others into N (atomic number 7). B-N compounds are fun analogues of C compounds but it's a bit of a stretch.

Re:One thing I don't get... (1)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 4 years ago | (#31007780)

Perhaps these crystals were shocked and heated more or in another way than human-made diamonds.

Re:One thing I don't get... (5, Funny)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#31007836)

I think it's clear that space-diamonds will have capabilities far outstripping any of our mundane terrestrial diamonds.

Re:One thing I don't get... (4, Funny)

sjwt (161428) | more than 4 years ago | (#31007900)

And I, for one, welcome our new shiny super tough, space born overlords

Re:One thing I don't get... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31008064)

And much more expensive too... are you listening, De Beers Intergalactic?

Re:One thing I don't get... (5, Funny)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008300)

So now meteorites are a girl's best friend? That's going to complicate some relationships

Re:One thing I don't get... (3, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008460)

Does this mean De Beers will try to monopolize space as well?

Re:One thing I don't get... (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008626)

Yes and Arthur C. Clarke tried to warn us in the 2001 series. The visionaries are always ignored until it is too late.

The De Beers Myth (2, Interesting)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008690)

De Beers doesn't have a monopoly now; it's an urban legend. They do control about 50% of the diamond market currently, down from past years, but they are not a monopoly. It's still a popular myth though.

Re:The De Beers Myth (3, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008784)

So you are saying that De Beers is only as big as everyone else combined? Crack a history book. Until the last decade, their business practices have been deplorable, and they are still huge.

Read more carefully (3, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008908)

I wasn't defending De Beers. They have engaged in 'business practices' that are akin to that of organized crime. I was simply pointing out that they are not a monopoly. Reading comprehension is important and you need more practice.

Re:One thing I don't get... (5, Funny)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008768)

I doubt it, they've not found enough space children caught up in intergalactic warfare to exploit yet.

Re:One thing I don't get... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31009058)

I move that we start referring to these super hard diamonds as Viagronds.

Re:One thing I don't get... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31009408)

Second.

Re:One thing I don't get... (3, Informative)

jandersen (462034) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008166)

... not harder than natural diamonds.

That is because what they are (or should be) talking about is not hardness, but mechanical strength. Black diamonds are not harder, but because they consist of microscopic crystals, they don't have the convenient break lines of monocrystals, and therefore are more difficult to process. See:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2007/0612-mystery_diamonds.htm [sciencedaily.com]

Re:One thing I don't get... (2, Insightful)

berwiki (989827) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008970)

I have no idea where you are getting that from. Sounds like some 1970s flub.

In the past, you could tell artificial diamonds from natural ones because of imperfections, but with today's technology, you can't tell even with a microscope.

Get some up to date info buddy!!

Re:One thing I don't get... (4, Interesting)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31009648)

Actually, you can tell, but in the opposite sense: it is exceptionally rare to get a natural diamond that has absolutely no imperfections; even the best usually have some minor flaw. On the other hand, it is relatively common to produce an artificial diamond that is flawless. De Beers and other companies have gone to quite some lengths to keep these diamonds away from the consumer market.

Re:One thing I don't get... (4, Insightful)

dziban303 (540095) | more than 4 years ago | (#31009122)

Once again the news media gets something very basic very wrong. From TFA's headline:

Crystalline carbon has never been found in nature until now

Uhm, what do you think a fucking diamond is? Chopped liver? No. Chicken dinner? No. Random collections of carbon atoms in no particular order? No. It's a crystal. Of carbon. Crystalline carbon.

BUT WAIT!! -- There's more! What about pencil lead!? Wow-it, too, is a form of cabon? In a crystal lattice?

Idiot science reporters should go back to covering the MTV music awards.

I hate to sound suspicious, but... (1)

PiAndWhippedCream (1566727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31007820)

Pics or it didn't happen. I'll take smiles, but I won't like it.

How long (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31007834)

How long til I can get me a ring of this shit?

Re:How long (5, Insightful)

dohzer (867770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008186)

I wouldn't bother. It turns out that it's less expensive than a diamond, so women won't be as happy with it.

Re:How long (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31008296)

I wouldn't bother. It turns out that it's less expensive than a diamond, so women won't be as happy with it.

less expensive...
this is the only deposit ever found.
and it cam eof a meteor..
you want to bet it's more expensive?

Re:How long (4, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008386)

I wouldn't bother. It turns out that it's less expensive than a diamond, so women won't be as happy with it.

Give DeBeers a few years and then see.

Re:How long (5, Interesting)

inviolet (797804) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008588)

I wouldn't bother. It turns out that it's less expensive than a diamond, so women won't be as happy with it.

Women are only that way because men are ever scheming to hit-and-run their womb space. Women need an un-fake-able signal of a man's seriousness, so the signal must take the form of something very (to the suitor) expensive.

That we use diamonds for this purpose is a benefit to the man, because DeBeers has made sure that there is no resale market. If there was a resale market that offered even 50% value, then the man would first need an un-fake-able signal of the woman's seriousness before passing the rock across the table.

Re:How long (2, Insightful)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008884)

Women need an un-fake-able signal of a man's seriousness, so the signal must take the form of something very (to the suitor) expensive.

It's more than just expensiveness. Some years ago, I bought some earrings for my girlfriend which were handmade and embedded with a sapphire, a ruby and a tourmaline. Beautiful, and after negotiating, I still paid the full price because I just wanted. She says thanks, then continues to almost never wear it!

Looking back, I would have made her much happier with some stupid cheaper, mass-produced but diamond-studded earrings...

Re:How long (1)

asliarun (636603) | more than 4 years ago | (#31009076)

Yeah, I know. You got this thing wrong though. Whether someone will like a gift or not always has a certain amount of randomness associated with it. No point beating yourself up if the gift wasn't received with as much enthusiasm as you would have wanted.

It is also not a function of price, color, etc. Sure, if the gift is situational or has a special meaning, the probability of gleeful acceptance will be higher. Nonetheless, remember, it is still a probability, not certainty. The corollary to your statement is also not to start buying cheap stuff for your girlfriend. Acceptance is the only meager answer I can come up with. and hey, this works both ways too. What if your girlfriend got you an iPad and you hated Apple products? Not too different from rubies vs diamonds, is it?

Re:How long (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31009244)

You have some great ideas.

What if your girlfriend got you an iPad

Will you marry me? :D

Re:How long (3, Funny)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008532)

How long til I can get me a ring of this shit?

Why do you call it shit? It comes from a meteorite, not from Uranus!

something harder than diamonds (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31007840)

my dick is harder than diamonds when i look at pictures of sexy asian chicks!

Re:something harder than diamonds (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008766)

How can I get a ring of this shit?

As the saying goes... (5, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31007932)

That allowed them to confirm that they had, indeed, found a new 'phase' or polymorph of crystalline carbon as well as a type of diamond that had been predicted to exist decades ago, but had never been found in nature until now.

"Polymorphs of crystalline carbon are forever."

Sounds like carbonados (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31007946)

http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2007/0612-mystery_diamonds.htm

Who said it's from nature? (1)

m.alessandrini (1587467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31007950)

There is a remote possibility that it was not nature to create that structure...

The remnants of my empire (3, Funny)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | more than 4 years ago | (#31007952)

And so a remnance of my empire once vast and impenetrable falls from the sky. Damn you Flash Gordon. Eventually I will get off this rock.

Re:The remnants of my empire (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31008164)

"Eventually I will get off this rock."

Rule #34 comes to mind ...

Mohs Scale of Hardness (5, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31007954)

Now it goes all the way to 11.

Re:Mohs Scale of Hardness (4, Funny)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 4 years ago | (#31007984)

That's 1 harder!

Re:Mohs Scale of Hardness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31008182)

that's what she said

Re:Mohs Scale of Hardness (-1, Redundant)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008222)

For the two people here who don't get the reference : http://xkcd.com/670/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Mohs Scale of Hardness (2, Informative)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008252)

It's actually a reference to Spinal Tap [wikipedia.org] , who made their amplifiers go up to eleven [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Mohs Scale of Hardness (1, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008514)

The title of the linked comic is "Spinal Tap Amps".

Re:Mohs Scale of Hardness (-1, Offtopic)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008616)

The title of the linked comic is "Spinal Tap Amps".

How very observant of you. Look everybody, maxume can read titles!

Re:Mohs Scale of Hardness (2, Insightful)

lilomar (1072448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31009694)

I think the more interesting thing is, slashdot readers are assumed to know what Moh's scale is, but spinal tap needs a reference...

Re:Mohs Scale of Hardness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31008264)

Just to make sure you yourself do understand that xkcd is not the original reference, right? ;)

Re:Mohs Scale of Hardness (2, Insightful)

WGFCrafty (1062506) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008250)

Well since diamonds were used as the reference on the scale, being the "hardest" of everything known. Yes, either the scale should go to 11, or diamonds should be lowered. The scale seems to be pretty arbitrary though, just what scratches what.

According to the wiki article:

Since the invention of the scale, there have been reports of materials harder than the highest mineral on the scale, diamonds; so the Mohs scale may be changed in the future.

And the reference is:
T. Irifune, A Kurio, S. Sakamoto, T. Inoue, H. Sumiya "Ultrahard polycrystalline diamond from graphite" Nature 421 (2003) 599 [nature.com]

A big meh to this slashdot story.

Nature summary:

Polycrystalline diamonds are harder and tougher than single-crystal diamonds and are therefore valuable for cutting and polishing other hard materials, but naturally occurring polycrystalline diamond is unusual and its production is slow. Here we describe the rapid synthesis of pure sintered polycrystalline diamond by direct conversion of graphite under static high pressure and temperature. Surprisingly, this synthesized diamond is ultrahard and so could be useful in the manufacture of scientific and industrial tools.

Re:Mohs Scale of Hardness (2, Interesting)

WGFCrafty (1062506) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008266)

Upon re-reading, the new ones are completely natural, not synthetic polycrystalline diamonds.

It is interesting that there has been a substance created harder than regular diamonds that has been published for seven years! I figured there would be saw blades everywhere which advertised "new, better than diamond tipped!"

Re:Mohs Scale of Hardness (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008434)

The actual hardness may actually be a 10.5 or 10.7 or 12. My guess is that they won't arbitrarily call this new structure 11 simply because it is harder than a 10. There may yet be even harder structures, or structures harder than diamond but softer than this.

Re:Mohs Scale of Hardness (3, Informative)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 4 years ago | (#31009172)

The Mohs hardness is ordinal, not linear, so until unless this item is added to the scale it will have an undefined Mohs hardness. Actual engineers use Brinell hardness or something similar.

Re:Mohs Scale of Hardness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31009692)

I distantly recall an upgraded Mohs scale which rescaled diamond to 15.

So this mineral goes up to 16.

Ohhh shinny! (1)

agentc0re (1406685) | more than 4 years ago | (#31007958)

Finally, the crystal I needed for my lightsaber! :D

Re:Ohhh shinny! (3, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008254)

Your rich and vivid imagination is going to get your ass kicked.

Dragonforce (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31007974)

Is it harder than Dragonforce? The hardest metal known to man.

Re:Dragonforce (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31008040)

the gayest metal known to man you mean

Re:Dragonforce (0, Offtopic)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008670)

the gayest metal known to man you mean

... is harder than Uranus.

Re:Dragonforce (0, Offtopic)

AmonTheMetalhead (1277044) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008178)

You must have limited knowledge of metal then.... Fast != hard

Re:Dragonforce (1, Offtopic)

thoughtspace (1444717) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008234)

Unless its death metal

Re:Dragonforce (0, Offtopic)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 4 years ago | (#31009166)

I think you mean speed metal.

Re:Dragonforce (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31008478)

Depends on whether you're an arthritic pensioner playing Guitar Hero on Expert or not.

Old news... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31008008)

RPGers around the world had known this for years: a meteorite sword is better than a diamond sword.

I don't know about you (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31008052)

but "naturally occurring" and "found in a meteorite fragment" tend to be mutually exclusive terms in my book.

Re:I don't know about you (5, Informative)

FluffyWithTeeth (890188) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008126)

...do you think that the meteorite was made by magicians?

Space is natural too.

Re:I don't know about you (2, Funny)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008214)

As is magic, only rarer.

Re:I don't know about you (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008812)

i think he meant mutually inclusive

Slighly confused now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31008132)

So diamond is no longer the hardest metal known to man?

Majorly confused now (2, Funny)

Koohoolinn (721622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008196)

Diamond isn't a metal.

Re:Majorly confused now (2, Insightful)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008216)

Just say "Yes,diamond is not the hardest metal known to man" and move on...

Re:Majorly confused now (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31008576)

Just say "Yes,diamond is not the hardest metal known to man" and move on...

Nor is diamond a metal.

Re:Majorly confused now (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008988)

depends whether you are a chemist or an astrophysicist.

Re:Majorly confused now (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 4 years ago | (#31009272)

Nor is diamond a metal.

Which is precisely why it can't possibly be the hardest metal known to man.

Re:Majorly confused now (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31008774)

Next you're going to tell us that dolphins don't lay eggs... -_-;;

Re:Majorly confused now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31009574)

say "Yes,diamond is not the hardest metal known to man" and move on...
 
Hardest metal? I thouhgt Metallica was the hardest, but maybe you mean King Diamond..

Re:Majorly confused now (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008324)

A much better name for this stuff would be "carbonite", obviously.

Re:Majorly confused now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31008724)

A much better name for this stuff would be "carbonite", obviously.

I dont think that diamond is a metal at all.

Re:Majorly confused now (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008828)

I think that's trademarked or something. Scientists getting sued for IP infringement is bad for business.

Re:Slighly confused now (1)

pohl (872) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008960)

So diamond is no longer the hardest [material] known to man?

It hasn't been for quite some time now, but the myth lives on. It was the hardest "naturally occurring" material until this discovery, apparently.

Lonsdaleite (5, Informative)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008212)

The article mentions hexagonal diamond (lonsdaleite) as an artificial form of diamond, which it is with a very interesting low energy formation method, but it was first found in nature in the Canyon Diablo Meteorite in 1967. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lonsdaleite [wikipedia.org] Pure lonsdaleite should be harder than regular diamond. I wish the article has said a little more about the crystal structure the researchers had found. That the energy required to make lonsdalite is low has interesting implications since the quantity needed to replace structural steel needs only about 1/280 of the energy needed to make the steel. http://mdsolar.blogspot.com/2008/01/anaximenes-way.html [blogspot.com]

Re:Lonsdaleite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31008652)

Well.. yeah.. but the problem is that diamond is really brittle so is kind of difficult you can replace any structural steel with diamond. In any of the (many) stress concentration points of a structure diamond would crack while steel simply plastifies locally.

Re:Lonsdaleite (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008740)

While it is true that design takes advantages of the details of steel's failure modes, it is not the case that brittleness is a problem here so long as the design accounts for this. Comparison of tensile strength is a appropriate measure.

Re:Lonsdaleite (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008810)

Not really. Hardness is related to compressive strength. In tension the flaws become very significant which is what the above poster is referring to. Consider glass since it acts the same way - very hard and strong in compression but very brittle so you can't stretch it much. Even glass is stronger than steel if you look at it the same way you are looking at diamond.

Re:Lonsdaleite (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31009292)

Which is why tensile strength is the correct thing to compare. Do you really think that a diamond I-beam of the same volume, much less the same mass, could not support more weight than a steel I-beam? I mean really?

Re:Lonsdaleite (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31009490)

It probably *COULD* hold more *for a time*. But the question is what is the failure load in all directions? Buildings/bridges/dams/etc are not static structures. They 'move around'; be it wind or snow or people just walking around on it. They are designed to 'float' in the dirt. Ever been in a house that 'settled' a little? The house didnt collapse it just bent a little. That is part of the design. Buildings/bridges that do not flex break, and quite spectacularly.

This is an example of a design that had too much sway in it (the wind didnt pass over the roadway correctly). But notice it DID sway...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-zczJXSxnw&feature=fvw [youtube.com]

My point? You can design in too little sway and it will crack your building in half when everything around it fails. Or you can design in too much sway and it will fly apart.

Could this have applications? Absolutely. However, with your diamond I-beam how do I rivet it together as we do not grow buildings on site? Rivets work by melting two large chunks of steel with a smaller one with a small weld. There are a few challenges you need to get past with construction.

For example concrete is also harder than steel. It is however extremely brittle which is why roadways and building structures are reinforced with something 'hard' but flexible. I could make an I-beam of concrete (and people do this) and get similar strength out of it but I would be a fool not to reinforce it in some way. It would shatter within months of use.

I may not be an architect but I studied many years to be one. And I didnt want to be a structural engineer.

Another way to make harder than normal diamonds (4, Informative)

Aargau (827662) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008336)

One can also make diamonds harder by isolating and using heavier isotopes. A diamond of purified carbon-13 is harder than a mix of 12,13,14. Man-made diamonds can actually be harder than naturally occurring ones.

Re:Another way to make harder than normal diamonds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31009850)

Maybe I'm missing something, but this sounds like a complete fallacy to me. All of the strength (and bonding action in general) is in the electron clouds, which are generally unaffected by the weight of the particular isotope. The only thing I can see this doing is altering the accessible rotational, translational, and vibrational states, albeit very slightly; this would not, as far as I can see, alter the total bond energy (ie: depth of well). Would you be so kind as to enlighten me?

What about bb's? (1)

gaelfx (1111115) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008482)

Now, I realize that the article is talking about a crystalline structure for carbon, so buckyballs clearly don't really figure into this directly, but I wonder if you could break a buckyball on one of these new-fangled space diamonds they seem so happy about. Whatever the case may be, at least Kobe can still take a step up from his previous apology to his wife. Better get back to cheating as quick as possible!

Londsaleite or not? (1, Informative)

physburn (1095481) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008496)

If the substance they found in the meteorite is indeed harder than carbon, then it probably isn't Londsaleite, as Londsaleites only as a Moh hardness of 7 to 8, where Diamond is 10 on the Moh scale. Shocked graphite with bonds between the layers certainly sounds a lot like Londsaleite though, but that wouldn't be a new form of Carbon. Apparently a theoretically perfect Lonsdaletite [wikipedia.org] crystal would be 58% harder than diamond, but why would the meteorite crystal be likely to have a near perfect structure.

---

Materials Science [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

Re:Londsaleite or not? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008824)

> If the substance they found in the meteorite is indeed harder than carbon,
> then it probably isn't Londsaleite...

I don't see that they claimed that it is.

Re:Londsaleite or not? (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008890)

but why would the meteorite crystal be likely to have a near perfect structure.

Becaaaaaaause.... it's sciency and natural and stuff. Man still marvels at how cool a little robotic dog is, yet completely takes for granted stuff like the human heart and it's absurdly complex level of bioengineering.

Boron nitride is not diamond (0, Redundant)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008782)

From the article: "...artificial ultra-hard diamonds known as lonsdaleite and boron nitride..."

Boron nitride is, of course, not a form of diamond (lonsdaleite is).

Contradict yourself why don't you... (0)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008874)

>Researchers were polishing a slice of the carbon-rich Havero meteorite that fell to Earth in Finland in 1971
then...
>but had never been found in nature until now
Well if it fell from the sky, then it is not in nature now is it...?
The story is interesting that we might have a new element on our chart or that we may have new improved harder cutting instruments
however, I still think that if we find something in the sense that it came from outer space and fell down to earth, that we should call it what it is, NOT NATURAL.

Re:Contradict yourself why don't you... (2)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 4 years ago | (#31009258)

Why must our view of the natural world be limited to the terrestrial sphere?

Re:Contradict yourself why don't you... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31009482)

Why must our view of the natural world be limited to the terrestrial sphere?

Why must our view of the natural world exclude the results of human activities?

Re:Contradict yourself why don't you... (2, Insightful)

Xabraxas (654195) | more than 4 years ago | (#31009382)

Well if it fell from the sky, then it is not in nature now is it...?

Space is natural unless you're a bible-thumping redneck.

The story is interesting that we might have a new element on our chart

I'm pretty sure carbon was discovered already.

Simple explination (2, Funny)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008886)

Since there is no such thing harder than diamonds on earth, and we cannot create anything harder, then it must have been aliens who sent us the meteorite with a substance so hard that it would...

1- Make it to us through space

2-have encoded within it their history

3- then to be lost when we started grinding away on the bloody thing.

-tom cruise.

Finally (1)

MistrX (1566617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31008972)

Dilithium cristals! Yeah! Woohoo!

Now where is that matter-antimatter reaction we need?

fundamentally underinformed (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31009774)

"suggesting that these areas were harder than the diamonds used in the polishing paste" is a fundamental misunderstanding and not the basis for a popularist msnbc "harder than diamonds" conjecture. if regions stand proud, it simply means they're harder than the substrate, not that they're particularly hard.

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