A material stronger than diamond has been discovered by scientists. They claim that lonsdaleite may both instruct us on the history of the earth’s evolution and strengthen instruments used in industry, such as drill bits and saw blades.
Diamonds, go along. The bling in town is stronger. Meet lonsdaleite, a long-held idea. Scientists have now confirmed that it exists on Earth, according to CNN. Get ready for this: lonsdaleite and diamonds both include carbon, but lonsdaleite has a hexagonal atomic structure, whereas diamonds have a cubic atomic structure. What is the major difference, then? The stone is 58% stronger than standard diamonds thanks to its hexagonal structure.
Lonsdaleite was discovered in a meteorite that, according to scientists, originated from a billions of year old dwarf planet. When an asteroid struck that planet, pressure was released, resulting in the formation of the stone. Lonsdaleite’s high hardness may be used to create extremely robust tools for use in industrial settings. However, researchers also believe that this discovery can help us understand how the cosmos interacts and, ultimately, how Earth became a planet.
Dihexagonal dipyramidal (6/mmm)
H-M symbol: (6/m 2/m 2/m)
a = 2.51 Å, c = 4.12 Å; Z = 4