Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Ocean Floor Diamonds

Lower a hydraulic intensifier full of carbon to the floor of the Mariana Trench
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It takes about 5-7.1 GPa of pressure to make diamonds. The pressure in the Mariana Trench is about 110 MPa. Proposed is a hydraulic intensifier where an outer ram exposed to seawater actuates an inner ram exposed to a chamber full of carbon. (The device would also have an electrical heating element to increase the temperature to the requisite 1200- 1500 C.) With an area ratio of roughly 50:1, lowering this device to the floor of the Mariana Trench could produce pressures sufficient to make diamonds.
kevinthenerd, Apr 04 2012

Liquid diamond http://news.discove...jupiter-uranus.html
[ytk, Apr 04 2012]

Carbon phase diagram http://www.mathewpe...n_phase_diagram.jpg
[ldischler, Apr 05 2012]


       For discussion. What is the energy cost of lowering and retrieving this ram 11km relative to the cost of generating the same pressure in the lab?
MechE, Apr 04 2012

       Yeah, I'm with [MechE]. Your using the Marian Trench to provide 110Mpa of pressure, yet that kind of pressure is attainable fairly easily on land.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 04 2012

       //that kind of pressure is attainable fairly easily on land.//   

       A similar scheme utilising high-pressure salesmen?
not_morrison_rm, Apr 04 2012

       It might impress a fiancee if you told her you made her a diamond that way. If her name is Mary-Ana you could romantically tell her it came from 'her trench'.   

       Maybe you can also use the Kola Super Deep Bore Hole this way.
jmvw, Apr 04 2012

       This would be possible deep in the gas-giant planets, where you would have the pressure and temperature with no equipment needed. You could even have oceans of liquid diamond.
ldischler, Apr 04 2012

       Liquid diamond is a contradiction in terms. Diamond is a specific form of solid carbon.
MechE, Apr 04 2012

       Ah, but you could have fluidised carbon, that is a body of very small diamonds, agitated by vibration or fluid current.   

       just sayin'.
Custardguts, Apr 04 2012

       The surprising thing about liquid diamond is that it's even denser than solid diamond.
ldischler, Apr 04 2012

       That's not surprising to anybody who's ever had a diamond milkshake. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to polish my monocle.
ytk, Apr 04 2012

       If gaseous iron can exist (and it does) then I don't see why liquid diamond is such a stretch. State of matter is overrated.
Alterother, Apr 04 2012

       Ah but now we're talking states of matter not states of allotropes of matter.   

       The liquid diamond you mention is actually liquid carbon. It doesn't retain the very specific crystal structure that defines it as diamond.
Custardguts, Apr 04 2012

       Normally, when heated enough to liquify, diamond changes into graphite. But apparently scientists have managed to prevent this transformation and produce liquid diamond, which is distinct from liquid carbon in that it reverts to a diamond state as it solidifies (link).
ytk, Apr 04 2012

       That article is a little misleading. Yes, at sufficiently large pressures, diamond can be melted and then frozen back to diamond, and clearly the way in which it does so is interesting. But I would still be reluctant to use the term 'liquid diamond', which is not really more meaningful than 'liquid ice'.
spidermother, Apr 05 2012

       Seconding [Spider], if they melted graphite, then raised the temperature and pressure, then lowered the pressure, it would still produce diamond.   

       Likewise, if they melted diamond, then changed the conditions the right way, they would get graphite.   

       Iron is still iron, no matter if it's plasma, gas, liquid or solid. Carbon is not diamond unless it's a particular crystalline form.
MechE, Apr 05 2012

       //Could someone make snowflake structures from gaseous iron//   

       Depends on what you mean by snowflake. If you're simply talking about solid iron falling from the sky as precipitation, then yes (it's unlikely though, since you'd have to have exactly the right conditions in an inert atmosphere).   

       If you mean something with the crystalline structure of a snowflake, then no, since iron doesn't crystallize the same way.   

       And I don't think anyone's arguing that carbon at the right combination of temperature and pressure will solidify into diamond, that's how they're created in nature, after all. The concern is that the calling the base material liquid diamond is like referring to a bin full of legos as a model space ship. Sure, you might be able to build the ship out of it, but you can also build a bunch of other things as well, and there's nothing inherent in the legos that defines one in preference to the other (unless you've got the little space-ship window piece, but there isn't anything like that in diamond).   

       Iron on the other hand, is one of the legos itself (it's an atom). Arrange it however you like, and the it's still some combination of that same lego.
MechE, Apr 05 2012

       // Temperature treatment of metals is after all just varying the crystalline structure. //   

       Thank you. That was my line of thinking, but expressed more fully.
Alterother, Apr 05 2012

       MechE seems caught up in semantics. But I suspect the "liquid diamond" phase is actually a metal or liquid metal phase.
ldischler, Apr 05 2012

       I suspect that the 'liquid diamond' phrase was chosen for catchy copy, rather than scientific accuracy.
spidermother, Apr 05 2012

       // Likewise, if they melted diamond, then changed the conditions the right way, they would get graphite.//   

       That does sound like a pricey way to make pencils, but each to their own.
not_morrison_rm, Apr 05 2012

       Alterother, ldischler, you're free to argue that people are just arguing semantics - because they are. However, that's because semantics are important.   

       You're free to disagree - however, one of the consequences of that is that I (and possibly other people) will start describing items connected by duck tape as welded together, and/or saying that you glue things together for a living.
Loris, Apr 05 2012

       While there's no rule about it, Loris, it's usual to relax the technical word usage at the halfbakery, otherwise, every idea would degenerate into a discussion of terminology.
ldischler, Apr 05 2012

       //otherwise, every idea would degenerate into a discussion of terminology// That depends on what you mean by "degenerate".
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 05 2012

       // describing items connected by duck tape as welded together, and/or saying that you glue things together for a living. //   

       Them's fightin' words. But you're right (about the semantics, not about the ducks and glue).   

       <grumble grumble mutter... 'glued together' my ass... the nerve... mutter mutter grumble>
Alterother, Apr 05 2012

       "Semantics (n. pl.) The branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning." There's a nice oxymoron in the phrase "just semantics." To use the phrase you have to misunderstand the meaning of the word semantics. Implying you're a person who considers meaning unimportant. Implying you understood the meaning of the word correctly after all.
mouseposture, Apr 05 2012

       ....as Socrates reportedly said "so what do you mean by 'mean'?" Language is more or less circular.   

       I'm a lot more worried by the governor of Shiga prefecture in Japan who says she doesn't want the local reactor turned back on "It appears to me that they are compromising technological safety in a half-baked way,"   

       It's time for HB to protect it's IP rights! Get onto Apple's lawyers and we can pool resources
not_morrison_rm, Apr 07 2012


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