Feb
13
2009

Substance harder than diamond discovered. We call it… “diamond.”

No one could ever bust this grill: Try as you might.
No one could ever bust this grill: Try as you might.Courtesy Bradley G.
Here’s a little bit more diamond news for y’all. Scientists have discovered not one, but two substances harder than diamonds.

The first material is called “wurtzite boron nitride,” and the other, even harder substance (58% harder than diamonds) is called “lonsdaleite.” Lonsdaleite, as it happens, is made of… diamond.

Or, if you want to be a nerd about it, lonsdaleite is made of carbon, like diamonds are, but it has a slightly different molecular structure. It’s often called “hexagonal diamond.”

Nobody had realized that these materials could be harder than diamonds before, because no one had considered subjecting them to “normal compressive pressures under indenters.” When you do expose wurtzite boron nitride or lonsdaleite to normal compressive pressures under indenters, they go through a phase transformation—that is, something changes in the bonds between their atoms, making them stronger. The atomic bonds in regular diamonds can’t undergo this change.

What’s that? You don’t know what “normal compressive pressures under indenters” is? Seriously? Whatever. Everybody who’s anybody knows what that is. But… um, I don’t know exactly what it means either. I’m pretty sure that it means that the materials undergo this bond-strengthening transformation only when it’s squeezed really hard.

So there you go. Throw out your diamonds, and get yourself some… better diamonds.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I dont know how how u do all dis funny crap but its absulutly f*****g hilarious :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

posted on Sat, 02/14/2009 - 3:36pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Yeah... well now people obsess over the shine of diamonds... so what does the chemical bonding have to do with it at alllll

posted on Sat, 02/14/2009 - 5:25pm
prudhvi's picture
prudhvi says:

i think for the glittering of diamonds the dispersive power is responsible not the chemical bond and its structures because every substances more over organic or in organic substance will may satisfies all types of bonds but they wont glitter.......so the dispersive power of the substance is responsible .

posted on Sat, 02/04/2012 - 4:51am
Wayne's picture
Wayne says:

Substances harder than diamonds had already been discovered. Scientists had produced a small sample of a harder substance (as documented in Science News Weekly a couple years ago) that was made of long, thin carbon structures known as "diamond nanorods," and the element osmium has long been known to be harder (at least by bulk compression ratio). However, nothing approaching the claimed hardness of lonsdaleite.

posted on Mon, 06/29/2009 - 1:05pm

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