A 50,000-year-old meteorite contained a never-before-seen form of diamond

A 50,000-year-old meteorite contained a never-before-seen form of diamond

A new facet of the famous Canyon Diablo meteorite has recently been unearthed by researchers. The pebble, which fell about 50,000 years ago on Earth in the middle of Arizona (United States), indeed contains an unprecedented diamond structure.

Discovered in 1891, the meteorite has since been the subject of numerous studies, specifies Science Alert relayed by Slate. In the latest, published mid-June in the scientific journal PNASwe learn that the object from space contains many diamonds called lonsdaleites, which are formed in the event of intense pressure and high temperatures.

Graphene, an exceptional material

Lonsdaleites are not the most common form of diamond found on Earth, the most widespread having a cubic form of their carbon atoms. Researchers have already succeeded in reproducing lonsdaleites by propelling graphene discs at 24,100 km/h against a wall, but the challenge remains to create them on an industrial scale.

Graphene, and by extension Lonsdaleite, indeed has many potential applications due to its incredible properties. It is indeed both light as a feather but as resistant as a diamond. Transparent and highly conductive, it is a million times thinner than a human hair.



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