Welcome to the High Pressure Mineral Physics and Materials Sciences Laboratory - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Welcome to the High Pressure Mineral Physics and Materials Sciences Laboratory. Diamond Anvil Cell -Window to the Earth’s Interior. Structure of the Earth Interior.

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Welcome to the

High Pressure Mineral Physics and Materials Sciences Laboratory

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Diamond Anvil Cell -Window to the Earth’s Interior

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Structure of the Earth Interior

The three concentric layers - the core, mantle, and crust formed within a few hundred million years of Earth's coalescence 4.5 billion years ago.

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The Temperature of the Earth’s Interior


in oC





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Pressure Distribution inside the Earth




670 km



2900 km


5154 km

6400 km


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The major minerals inside the Earth









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  • The first river-bed (alluvial) diamonds were probably discovered in India, in around 800 B.C.

  • In South Africa in 1870 diamond was found in the earth far from a river source, and the practice of dry-digging for diamonds was born.

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The Kooh-i-noor

The Kooh-i-noor has a longest history for an extant stone. Firstly, in 1304 as a diamond in the possession of the Rajah of Malwa, later, it fell into the hands of the Sultan Baber. This was a time when possession of such a gem symbolized the power of an empire.

(109 carats)

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The Koh-i-Noor was presented to Queen Victoria in 1850 to mark the 250th anniversary of the founding of the East India Company. It was displayed at the Crystal Palace Exposition

In 1911 a new crown was made for the coronation of Queen Mary with the Koh-i-Noor as the center stone. In 1937, it was transferred to the crown of Queen Elizabeth (now Queen Mother) for her coronation. It is now on display with the British Crown Jewels in the Tower of London.

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Orloff Diamond

189 carats

First, it may have been set at one time as the diamond eye of Vishnu's idol (one of the Hindu Gods) in the innermost sanctuary temple in Sriangam, before being stolen in the 1700s by a French deserter.

The time passed, the stone arrived at Amsterdam where the Russian count Grigori Orloff was residing. The stone has been called the Orloff since then. Catherine received his gift and had it mounted in the Imperial Sceptre.

In 1812 the Russians, fearing that Napoleon with his Grand Army was about to enter Moscow, hid the Orloff in a priest's tomb. Napoleon supposedly discovered the Orloff's location and went to claim it. However, as a solider of the Army was about to touch the Orloff, a priest's ghost appeared and pronounced a terrible curse upon the Army. The Emperor, Napoleon scampered away without the Orloff.

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The Tiffany (128 carats), the best known yellow diamond.

Cullinan, 530 carats

Pumkin Diamond

The Hope, Hope was once owned by Louis XIV and was officially designated "the blue diamond of the crown."

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Diamond Mining

An "independent" operation using the simplest technology: shovel, pan, water, and muscles.

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Structures of Graphite and Diamond

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Eiffel Tower, Paris

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Diamonds can form at depths as shallow as 150 kilometers beneath the continental crust, while beneath oceans they need depths of at least 200 kilometers, as shown by the diamond boundary on the cross-section. Graphite is transformed in diamond under high pressure 55000 atmospheres and 1400 degrees Co.

This magnitude of pressure is difficult to comprehend. For example, the pressure of 55,000 atmospheres necessary to make a diamond at 1400 degrees C (orange hot) would require the Eiffel Tower (7000 metric tons) resting on a 5 inch plate.

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Large Volume Press at SOEST

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Structure of the new C3N4 phase synthesized at SOEST

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Structure of Fullerene

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Structure of Nanotubes

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The Future

The space shuttle presently uses diamond-coated low-friction hinges in various moving parts, but future uses may include diamond windows and diamond radiation-detectors in scientific instruments, and electronics with diamond heat-spreaders or flat panel displays with diamond-powered pixels.

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