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Researchers discover the hardest substance in the world

Researchers discover the hardest substance in the world

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Have you ever heard of Lonsdaleit? If you google it, you will find something like this definition: The material is a rare high pressure modification of diamond. It belongs to the group of minerals and crystallizes in a hexagonal structure with special physical properties. For example, it is described as being 58 percent harder than regular diamonds. Diamonds are generally considered one of the hardest minerals in the world.

So Lonsdaleit will have the highest degree of hardness of any natural mineral. If it exists. Since its discovery in 1967 by Irish crystallologist and Professor Kathleen Lonsdale in Barringer Crater, its existence has been questioned time and time again. Criticisms of it have increased, especially in recent years: it is just an unusually structured diamond, but not an independent mineral.

Huge amounts have just been discovered


Major hardware resources

Huge amounts have just been discovered

Lonsdaleit exists!

However, researchers have now succeeded in discovering and even mapping large amounts of Lonsdaleit and diamonds in so-called urilite meteorites, which very likely originated from the mantle of a dwarf planet in the inner Solar System that was decimated billions of years ago. that reports Scientific journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA). The fact that the material looks very similar to diamond is due to the so-called false deformation.

This is how Lonsdaleit was created: Simply put, Lonsdaleit is formed through the reaction between graphite, CHOS . Supercritical Fluids (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulfur) and high pressure. Since the surrounding rock does not change its shape, the material is compressed into approximately the same shape. And it is clear that not on Earth, but only on other planets, before it was then brought to us on the back of rare stone meteorites, called Ureilites, among other things.

Like diamond, Lonsdaleit is a phase of carbon, but according to the researchers, it is still a mineral in its own right. After 55 years, it seems that the secret of the hardest material has finally been revealed.

What is the benefit of Lonsdaleit? With the knowledge of the composition of Lonsdaleit, it is now possible to manufacture the mineral industrially. Just like man-made diamonds, it can be used to process materials. So it is now indispensable in the field of electronics. Speaking of diamonds:

Have you ever heard of Lonsdaleit? What do you think of the discovery? Are you interested in such topics in general? Write it to us in the comments!