When it comes to natural things, it doesn’t get much harder than diamond. The carbon-based material can be used to cut through steel, wood and glass, and, under ordinary circumstances, it's so rigid that it can’t be burnt. But in this British Royal Institution testing, researcher Peter Wothers demonstrates that there is a quite straight way to destroy diamond, and he shows a cool little prank on Nobel prize-winning chemist Sir Harry Kroto in the procedure. In the set-up, Wothers re-forms a typical experiment for testing whether a material comprises carbon, which includes burning it in a compartment with clean oxygen. But he then adds an exciting twist, by gathering the gas that's unconfined in a tube and running it through limewater. If the material being burnt holds carbon, the resultant smoke will contain carbon dioxide, and when this come across the limewater it'll produce calcium carbonate and turn the whole thing milky white. You’ll have to see the experiment to see what comes next. I don't want to spoil anything, but i will say that Kroto is an extremely worthy sport.
|Image Credit: The Royal Institution|