Formation of the Diamond

Formation of the Diamond

What possible ways are there to describe your physical self?

You are masculine, feminine, strong, weak, You are a tank of water, you are made up of soil, you are the precious diamond. Did I say Diamond? that too about you? yes, you read it right- You are a Diamond! But How?

18.5% of your total body mass is made up of Carbon (C) and the Diamond is nothing more than the pure Carbon! You should realize that it is not impossible to convert your ashes after cremation into diamonds. A number of firms are already working their butts off on this endeavour. If you are the kind of person who value money more than anything, simply go burn yourself and seek the help of these companies to become the precious ornament!
Today, I’m going to discuss about the formation of diamonds.

Image Source- Pixabay

DIAMOND


Diamond is an allotrope of carbon, ie it is just another physical form of raw carbon. It is the hardest known substance we humans have ever found. We use it as gem and also abrasives in manufacturing industries. Diamond has top ranks in the lists of refraction index, Mohr’s value, Thermal conductivity, Dispersion etc.. The list infact is much lengthier than this! Poets all over the world use the words like scintillating, delectable, ravishing,verdant etc to properly pen down this precious substance. if you are a lover you can eulogize your partner by comparing him/her to the Diamond. Buy him/her one if you are rich enough!

As diamonds are made up of pure carbon, people obviously believed that it was the coal buried beneath the earth’s surface that had become diamond after undergoing certain changes over the years. But later, this argument proved to be fallible as the scientific evidences estimated that the age of Diamonds is some Billions of years; much older than the very first single cell organism that sprouted out its life!

The planet earth is 4.5 billion years old. I do agree, for many of us it might appear to be a much small number as even the viewers count for the song Despacito on YouTube has gone past 5 billion. Diamonds are as old as the earth. They age between the very starting moment of the earth to some 1.5 billion years ago. Being so along with other factors, it is extremely hard to find natural diamonds on earth. This scarcity makes their value surge steadily.

HOW DO THEY FORM?


Image source-Pixabay
 

It all starts with five nearby Carbon atoms coming together to form tight covalent bond between them. High pressure and high temperature are the conditions required for this act to be hassle free. This new dense carbon complex continues to be in such an extreme physical state for millions, if not billions of years. This phenomena results in the formation of the precious substance that we see now in the form of sacrosanct Diamond.

The previously most percieved theory of Formation of diamond from the coal was turned down as the coal is nothing more than the debris of flora and fauna existed here millions of years ago. We can say it undoubtedly that coal didn’t contribute to the development of diamonds as the extreme conditions required couldn’t be found at the sites of coal mining. And as we have seen earlier, the age factor doesn’t sync at all.

Scientists and traders set out to find the ways through which natural diamonds could have been formed. Four ways of natual diamond formation have been found by them. Out of four, only one method is responsible for almost cent percentage of commercial diamonds that are in use; Diamond formation in earth’s mantlle . Let me describe this along with all other methods briefly.

Diamond formation in earth’s mantle


Earth’s mantle is boiling with unimaginable temperature and pressure. High pressure and temperature is the typical requirements to form diamond. This criteria is highly satisfied there at some limited zones. in about 150 kilometres deep in the mantle, temperature is atleast 1050 degree celsius and the pressure is too high( It ebarrasses to learn that pressure gradually increases and reaches 1.3 million times the atmospheric pressure in the core!). This critical temperature-pressure environment for diamond formation and stability is not present globally. Instead it is thought to be present primarily in the mantle beneath the stable interiors of continental plates. This zone we refer to as ‘Diamond stability zone’

Source – Wikicommons-uploaded by Kelvinsong, Licence : CC BY-SA 3.0
 

As your commensense might have made you imagine by now, a volcanic eruption is much needed to bring out these diamonds from earth’s mantle to surface. Again, not all volcanic eruptions can carry with them these precious substances. A deep source volcanic eruption is the need of the hour. It is from the sites of deep eruptions that the rocks named Kimberlites are found. In these places a vertical hole named lamproite pipes that stretches downward to few hundred kilometres can also be seen. If you could locate such a place, you are lucky and likely enough to find a Diamond!

Diamond formation in subduction zones


This happens due to plate tectonics processes. When continental plate collides with oceanic plate, rocks and minerals containing abundance of carbon in it get subducted deep down to the mantle. But the depth won’t be great enough. In subducted plates, diamond formation might occur as little as 80 kilometres from the surface and at temperature as low as 200 degree celsius.

Image Source – Wikicommons-uploaded by KDS4444, License – CC BY-SA 4.0
 

Diamonds from Brazil consisted tiny mineral inclusion in consistent with mineralogy of oceanic crust. This supports the claim of this type of formation. Here too, the subducted rocks and minerals have to come outside of the earth inorder to make diamonds visible.

Diamond Formation in impact sites


Earth had been hit by asteroids several times throughout its entire history. When a heavy astroid having high velocity strikes the earth, its impact will produce high energy that would be equal to millions of nuclear bombs that US once tried on Japan. The pressure and temperature would be extremely high and will have every aspects needed to form diamonds. Carbon atoms present in the very place of asteroid attack will gain the new physical form to become Diamonds.

Image Source- Pixabay
 

We were able to locate many such diamonds in asteroid strucken areas. Tiny, sub-millimeter diamonds have been found at Meteor Crater in Arizona. Polycrystalline industrial diamonds up to 13 millimeters in size have been mined at the Popigai Crater in northern Siberia, Russia. Click here to read more!

Diamond formation in space


So far, we have been able to locate diamonds having a size of billionth of a metre in diameter in space. Especially these diamonds are present in meteors. It is believed that almost 3% of carbon in meteors exists in the form of nano diamonds. We can’t use them for making gems or industrial abrasives. But still it is an inevitable source.

The formation of diamond here is exactly similar to how the diamonds formed in impact sites on earth. Critical temperature and pressure backs the formation of diamonds out there in space too!

SYNTHETIC DIAMOND


As I have mentioned in the beginning of this article, it is not impossible to turn the carbon present in your body into fine Diamond. When we hear the word artificial, we are dubious about its quality. But the fact is that, factory produced diamonds are in no way inferior to their natural counterparts. Making of diamonds in factory takes upto 8 months.

If you want to convert the some other form of carbon atoms that you have with you into Diamond, you should subject it into the critical conditions. High pressure and temperature in a steady manner for some weeks. This business can go up in profit to some unimaginable levels if the cost concern associated with it gets alleviated. I wish you can be a Diamond after the Death!

REFERENCES

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