diamond rain

You Didn’t See It Coming, Diamond Rain (Literally) !!

Though “Diamond Rain” might sound like the name of a 90’s pop band but it’s not. The name suggests a hypothetical scientific theory. Scientists are arguing about this for a long period. Recently a US based team of scientists recreated and proved the phenomena.

What Is Diamond Rain?

“Diamond Rain” is generally known as “Diamond Precipitation” in the scientific community. This natural phenomenon occurs inside huge icy gas giants like our Neptune and Uranus. These type of plantets are rich with Hydrocarbons. The ingredient for creating diamonds change their structure as they grow closer to the planet. As a result of the extream temperature and pressure in their cores the hydrocarbons loose the hydrogen atom and forms diamonds. This transformation literally causes continuous diamond showers near the core. The diamonds bond together and create huge chunks raw diamond.

The Recreation Process

Now you might wanna know how the group of scientists from Stanford University managed to recreate this phenomenon. Consequently, it is a complicated process. Therefore I will explain it as easily as possible. The group of scientists used an X-ray free-electron laser named Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) to simulate the situation on icy gas giants. As a result, it created the intense pressure and heat needed to force the hydrogen free carbon atoms to bond in a way that creates diamonds. For the source of hydrocarbon, they used a block of polystyrene. It is not yet clear how the diamonds grow in size. The composition of polystyrene is just the like the oceans of Neptune. Filled with hydrocarbons.

Sounds fascinating right? but hold on a second. The diamonds created by the group was less than one nanometer which is the billionth of a meter. Therefore it is millions of times smaller than the diamond on a ring. We already knew few ways to create diamonds and many diamond companies use those methods. The real goal of those scientists was to understand and prove a hypothetical theory. Which will help us to understand our universe a little better.


Amit Pandey