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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: Shaving a Diamond
29 November 2010 1:49 pm
How do you cut the hardest thing on Earth? Jewelers know it can be done; they've been cutting diamonds for centuries with other diamonds. Materials scientists just didn't know why this worked. Now they do, thanks to a new computer simulation of two diamonds rubbing against each other under high pressure. According to the model, published online yesterday in Nature Materials, carbon atoms on one diamond (left arrow) latch onto carbon atoms poking out from the other diamond (curved arrow) and briefly pull them along, breaking and reforming atomic bonds as they go. This creates an amorphous surface with liquid-like properties, which allows the diamond to be cut. The findings could lead to a new generation of amorphous diamond coatings on objects such as car pistons, which could rub against each other at high speeds without wearing down and with minimal lubrication.
See more ScienceShots.