Diamonds are beautiful and enigmatic. Though chemical reactions that create the highly coveted sparkles still remain a mystery, a professor from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is studying a rare rock covered in diamonds that may hold clues to the gem's origins.
The golf-ball sized chunk of rock contains more than 30,000 diamonds, each less than a millimeter in size (rendering them worthless), along with speckles of red and green garnet and other minerals.
The rock was found in Russia's Udachnaya diamond mine in northern Siberia. The diamond company of Russia, ALROSA, loaned it to Earth and Planetary Sciences Professor Larry Taylor and a team of researchers from the Russian Academy of Sciences so they could study the rock to uncover the diamonds' genesis.
Scientists believe that diamonds form at some 100 miles deep in the Earth's mantle and are carried to the surface by special volcanic eruptions. However, most mantle rocks crumble during this journey. This rock is one of only a few hundred recovered in which the diamonds are still in their original setting from within the Earth.
"It is a wonder why this rock has more than 30,000 perfect teeny tiny octahedral diamonds—all 10 to 700 micron in size and none larger," said Taylor. "Diamonds never nucleate so homogeneously as this. Normally, they do so in only a few selective places and grow larger. It's like they didn't have time to coalesce into larger crystals."
Taylor and his colleagues examined the sparkly chunk using a giant X-ray machine to study the diamonds and their relationships with associated materials. They also beamed electrons at the materials inside the diamonds—called inclusions—to study the chemicals trapped inside.
This created two- and three-dimensional images which revealed a relationship between minerals. Analyses of nitrogen indicated the diamonds were formed at higher-than-normal temperatures over longer-than-normal times. The images also showed abnormal carbon isotopes for this type of rock, indicating it was originally formed as part of the crust of the Earth, withdrawn by tectonic shifts and transformed into the shimmery rock we see today.
"These are all new and exciting results, demonstrating evidences for the birth mechanism of diamonds in this rock and diamonds in general," said Taylor.
The findings were presented at the American Geophysical Union's annual conference in San Francisco in December and will be published in a special issue of "Russian Geology and Geophysics" this month.
Whitney Heins | newswise
Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle
22.06.2018 | Technical University of Denmark
Polar ice may be softer than we thought
22.06.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.06.2018 | Life Sciences