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Diamond Glasses

See-through crystalline carbon
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(+3, -1)
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In the spirit of gold frying pans, why not make eyeglasses with diamond lenses? Nothing is less scratchable, and the super-high refractive index (two point something?) means they would be ultimately thin and stylish. Plus you could probably step on them without breaking them. Only problem is fabrication...
rmutt, Mar 14 2001

Risks of laser surgery http://www.fda.gov/.../498_eye.html#risks
"...clinical studies showed that about 5 percent of patients continued to always need glasses following PRK for distance, and up to 15 percent needed glasses occasionally, such as when driving..." [rmutt, Mar 14 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

The Diamond Age http://www.wired.co.../11.09/diamond.html
at $5 a carat, these will be used for a lot more than jewelry... [dbsousa, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Short-term CD-R http://www.cdfreaks.com/news/7751
CD-Rs may not last even ten years... [Vernon, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       Funny. It's rather like using a laser to read a phonograph disk, which I gather is also possible. If you are going to make something so archaic into something so high-tech, why not just go for the full high-tech route and get contacts (or whatever the state of the art is now)?
centauri, Mar 14 2001, last modified Mar 15 2001

       Are you wearing shoes with archaic laces? Why not just go for the full high-tech route and use zippers or velcro?
Even when laser surgery is improved (see link) some people will still need correction, and many others will choose specs as a retro fashion statement.
rmutt, Mar 14 2001

       You're missing my point, which is that it is silly to make something more advanced when what you should really do is get rid of that thing once and for all. There are high-tech alternatives to glasses and phonographs, so why soup those up? High-tech shoes are still basically shoes.   

       Retro fashion statements are fine, but you should admit that that wasn't what you were considering when you first suggested this.
centauri, Mar 15 2001

       Unabubba: yes, you're right -- that's how they are 'cut.' A gentle tap with a hammer can cleave a diamond along a plane of the crystal, and if you're not careful, more than one. This gives rmutt an idea, but he needs more large diamonds to test his theories. Donations anyone?

       Centauri: consider the possibility that some people *prefer* eyeglasses, and, inexplicable as it seems, phonographs too. I guess I don't see what's wrong with a laser phonograph either; heck, some people want their surface noise in Real High Fidelity.
rmutt, Mar 15 2001

       Diamond contacts, anyone?
PotatoStew, Mar 15 2001

       rmutt: I have, on occasion, been hit on my glasses with small flying objects in cases where I might not have put on safety glasses if I didn't need glasses for vision. Were it not for my glasses, I might have suffered severe injury to my eyes.
supercat, Mar 15 2001

       Don't use diamonds. Use rubies.
thumbwax, Mar 15 2001

       Diamonds for clear vision, Rubies when you're seeing red, Emerald lenses for the jealous types, Aquamarine for the Monday blues.   

       Ok, I'm sold on the idea. Sell all shares and invest heavily in precious stones before this catches on...
jetckalz, Mar 15 2001

       (ahem) Rubies...Rose colo(u)red glasses
thumbwax, Mar 16 2001

       Someday, diamond might be as cheap as glass. All it takes to make diamond is carbon and lots of energy. If reenforced with different kinds of fibers it would be a miracle material, useful for all kinds of things.
Mogo, Aug 22 2003

       The reason some people like records over CDs is that the conversion of music, an analog signal, to a digital signal, is lossy. Some of the music gets thrown out. Some people, mostly musicians, (myself included) can pick up on this loss. It sucks. I need records. CDs sound staticy and distorted. If you treat your records nicely and change the needle often, their fidelity surpasses that of a CD and they can last for many many years. I have records from the 60's that sound exactly as they did when they were pressed. Forty years from now, the foil backing on every CD on earth that wasn't stored in a museam vault will have decayed to the point that it will be unreadable. CD-Rs should go within 10-20 years.
Madcat, Aug 22 2003

       The reason glasses work, is that you can bend the lenses under heat to compensate for the imperfections in the wearer's eyes. Diamond is not known for it's malleability, and is specifically known for its ability to withstand great heat.
dbsousa, Aug 23 2003

       You sure about that statement?
FloridaManatee, Aug 25 2003

       I provided a link, above. It says "Put pure carbon under enough heat and pressure - say, 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit and 50,000 atmospheres - and it will crystallize into the hardest material known. " Hard and malleable are contrasting words in the merriam webster online thesaurus, and the article goes on to state that diamonds would make ideal semiconductors because of their ability to conduct electricity and hold their shape under temperatures that would melt silicon.
dbsousa, Aug 25 2003

       Glasses do not work because you "can bend the lenses under heat to compensate for the imperfections in the wearer's eyes". Lenses work because you have two surfaces, a front and a rear, each with a precise curve on them. The greater the difference between these curves, the stronger the refractive effect on the light that passes through them. Most glasses are made by very accurately grinding, then polishing, these curves onto the lens. Theoretically, a diamond that was thick enough, wide enough, large enough, and optically clear enough, could be ground and polished with other diamonds to make a very good pair of lenses. A very EXPENSIVE and HEAVY pair of lenses (despite their thinness). Do consider that the largest cut diamond in the whole world is no bigger than just one lens in an small sized pair of sunglasses.
eyeguy, Jan 23 2004


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