Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Struck Diamond

I am still sick of the news. Today, rebels attacked an oil refinery in Nigeria -- Floridians are ready to trade the dolphins for drilling...

but -- I learned something new --

sometimes -- there are diamonds in oil!

Published: December 3, 2002

In oil, scientists have struck diamond.

Researchers at ChevronTexaco in Richmond, Calif., have discovered tiny diamond fragments of a wide variety of shapes and sizes within crude oil from the Gulf of Mexico.

Nothing that could be used for a ring or a necklace, though. Even the largest fragment is far too small to be seen -- less than a billionth of a billionth of a carat.

But the infinitesimal size could be just what scientists want: potential building blocks for the construction of molecular-scale machinery.

''A good analogy for these are Legos,'' said one of the researchers, Dr. Jeremy E. Dahl, an organic geochemist at ChevronTexaco. ''It's a brand new set of materials that no one has ever looked at.''

The diamond fragments, which form naturally in petroleum and natural gas, could also find use in electronics or as novel drugs.

Dr. Dahl, along with his colleagues Dr. Shenggao Liu and Dr. Robert M. K. Carlson, will report their findings in a future issue of the journal Science.

In a way, isn't it supremely unfair? Like those people who can paint and compose -- or are beautiful and kind... the fight only remains which rarity is more valuable...

it's the polarity too… the clarity v. the light absorption. Black v. clear. Hard v. viscous.

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