Scientists have traced this mysterious folded diamond to an ancient dwarf planet

In a startling new development, a team of Australian scientists have unexpectedly discovered some “strangely folded diamonds”. It may seem a little strange at first because we have always thought of diamonds as strong and hard structures without having an elastic nature. But the presence of these folded diamonds in meteorite samples, which are sometimes found, has alerted scientists. After further inquiry, scientists came to the conclusion that the discovery of these folded diamonds is the result of a catastrophe or catastrophe on an ancient dwarf planet. Moreover, the research team has since conducted a study on this discovery, which has been published in PNAS . Magazine.

Besides this, the class of meteorites in which this diamond was found is called “ureilites” It is usually famous for the presence of diamonds rich in carbon and small diamonds. Hence, to determine the exact shape and type of this diamond, the researchers stripped carbon from samples obtained at CSIRO and crafted both diamond and graphite. In the process, they learned that this diamond comes from a very rare breed known as “Lonsdalite” and has a hexagonal shape.

However, for a detailed examination, the CSIRO team sends these diamonds to RMIT where the team also performed a comprehensive examination through “high-resolution electron microscopy (TEM)”. Microscopy proved useful as it revealed some insightful details of this diamond and one such revelation is that it is about 1 micrometer in length and made of lots of tiny lonsdaleite crystals. The details were quite impressive, but the researchers still couldn’t get to the main point regarding the diamond’s folding structure.

Hence, to unravel this mystery, the team at RMIT compared various crystals of diamond, graphite, and lonsdaleite with samples of ureillite. There were about 18 different specimens in nature and the team revealed that some of the lonsdaleite crystals had turned into graphite and diamond. Moreover, they also encountered some fine graphite crystals in those samples that had not yet turned into diamond. This is the turning point in the research.

They concluded from these results that the diamond they see now undiscovered grew on the dwarf planet about 4.5 billion years ago and over time, due to the presence of temperature and pressure, the shape of this diamond becomes folded. Additionally, due to this hexagonal structure, these diamonds tend to be 50% harder than a typical cubic diamond. According to Professor Andy Tomkins, who is also the study’s lead author:

And so nature has provided us with a process to try and replicate in industry. We believe that lonsdaleite can be used to make extra-rigid machine parts if we can develop an industrial process that promotes the replacement of preformed graphite parts by lonsdaleite. “