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Old 12-02-2015, 03:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Q-carbon: a stunning new phase of carbon

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Researchers from North Carolina State University have discovered a new phase of solid carbon, called Q-carbon, which is distinct from the known phases of graphite and diamond.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151130152005.htm


By pulsing a powerful laser on amorphous carbon they were able to make a new type of crystalline carbon which is harder and shines brighter than diamond. And it is ferromagnetic!

The process can be done at atmospheric pressure and room temperature.
The only thing holding me back from making my own super diamonds on the kitchen table is the laser

The material emits light quite easily, so it may find application in new high-efficiency LEDs and displays, electronics, you name it!

BTW. Q-carbon is distinctly different from M-carbon which forms when graphite is kept under 200.000 atm. pressure for long durations. That is much like a 'dirty' diamond, as hard but has a chaotical atomic structure.

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Old 12-02-2015, 12:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wish this was to market when I was shopping for a wedding diamond. I think man-made objects are more desirable since they are purpose made, compared to stumbling across an impure rock formed by nature, that is not very rare in the first place.

I looked into synthetic diamonds, but the prices are slightly higher than natural stones, and they have trouble growing them to the ~1 carrot size.
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Old 12-02-2015, 02:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
...they have trouble growing them to the ~1 carrot* size.
I should imagine! But then, wearing something carrot-sized on your finger would be pretty awkward :-)

If you like man-made, why not cubic zirconia? Just as sparkly, and lots cheaper.


*Homonyms: reason #257 why I hate spell check.
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Old 12-03-2015, 10:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That gold foam is wicked stuff. I can imagine aerospace insulation as a possible use for that.

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Now that we have Q-Carbon, can we please have nano-bot assemblers to build Q-Carbon structures, please? I'd quite like to see the first beanstalk go up before I die.
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Old 12-03-2015, 11:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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By beanstalk, do you mean space elevator? Those might work on the Moon where there's no atmosphere or terrorists.

The informed criticism is 'How do you beam power that far'. My own question is how does the one going up pass the one going down.

The gold/milk protein composite is a weird thing. I'd like to see a means of making an arbitrary shape in gold aerogel and then sputtering the boron carbide onto it's surface and infusing it with the gold 3% aluminum alloy.

If you made a gold knife blade, the only thing that would hone it is Q-carbon?
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It would have to be a gentle spray.

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Seriously, though... I think the applications in terms of insulation are tremendous for the aerogel... that's assuming the milk protein doesn't break down too easily.

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The space elevator would have to have multiple lifts going up and down. And yes, beaming power to the nano-assemblers would be an issue. A lot of fictional nanoassemblers get a free pass with some unspecified form of endless energy coming from out of the authors' arses... but in real life, we'll need to feed them with something to keep them going.
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Old 12-04-2015, 12:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
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...but in real life, we'll need to feed them with something to keep them going.
Sunlight? That's what real-world nanoassemblers - AKA plants - seem to use.
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It's easier for me to comprehend the 20-kilometer tower:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ThothX_Tower


http://tribune.com.pk/story/940215/20-km-high-space-elevator-could-be-a-reality-soon/

It relies on buoyancy rather than tension. You could fly each section into place.

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