Is It Possible to Turn Coal Into Diamonds?

Book Chapter by: William C. Robertson, Ph.D. Digital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

How cool would it be to be Lois Lane? Anytime she wants a diamond, she just has Superman use his super strength to squeeze a lump of coal. But is this really possible? Using a high enough temperature and enough pressure, can you turn coal into diamonds? To answer this, we have to address the nature and formation of coal and the nature and formation of diamonds. First, though, we have to talk about the carbon atom and what makes it so special. This free selection includes the Table of Contents, Introduction, and Index.

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Reviews (3)
  • on Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:17 PM

I think most students are readily able to accept that carbon is found in a variety of compounds, and that many compounds contain relatively pure carbon. But the concept of crystal lattices completely leave most of us in the dust. The response to this question is a funny, understandable explanation that will allow virtually any teacher, at any level, to understand how these compounds are the same, yet different. It could easily be understood by middle and high school students.

Learning Center Online Advisors  (Minneola, Flordia)
Learning Center Online Advisors (Minneola, Flordia)

  • on Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:02 PM

Easy to comprehend. Good for middle school students, too.

Dat Le  (Springfield, VA)
Dat Le (Springfield, VA)

  • on Fri Dec 10, 2010 10:54 AM

Not to mention...all his chapter titles are fabulous essential questions.

Melissa  (Atlanta, GA)
Melissa (Atlanta, GA)

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