Here’s a fun bonus: it’s made of gunpowder. How cool is that? Scientists have found an alternative material that is as strong as diamonds. The material, called lonsdaleite (also known as hexagonal diamond), is a rare six-sided crystalline mineral that has seldom been found in nature — generally only at meteorite impact sites. However, researchers from Washington State University’s Institute for Shock Physics have developed their own hexagonal diamonds, as Free Think details:
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“Diamond is a very unique material,” Yogendra Gupta, director of the Institute for Shock Physics and an author on the study, said in a statement. “It is not only the strongest — it has beautiful optical properties and a very high thermal conductivity. Now we have made the hexagonal form of diamond, produced under shock compression experiments, that is significantly stiffer and stronger than regular gem diamonds.”
Using gunpowder and compressed gas, Gupta’s team launched dime-sized graphite disks at a transparent material at 15,000 miles per hour.
Upon impact, shock waves coursed through the disks, transforming them into lonsdaleite
Image via Free Think