Peanut butter has gotten a promotion. No longer just a traditional American snack spread, it now can be used to make precious and expensive stones. A team of scientists, headed by Professor Malcolm McMahon at the Centre of Science and Extreme Conditions at Edinburgh University, have been experimenting with how to turn peanut butter into diamonds.
McMahon told the Daily News Egypt that the transformation is not necessarily a scientific breakthrough, but rather a fun demonstration experiment for students.
“We can turn any material containing lots of carbon – such as peanut butter – into diamond by putting the material to very high pressures and temperatures,” he said. “This was first done in December 1955 by Robert Wentorf Jr. in the USA. He also used other carbon-containing materials – roofing tar, maple wood, and moth flakes.”
On whether the characteristics of the diamonds created from peanut butter were the same as the natural ones, McMahon said: “Because peanuts contain a lot of nitrogen atoms, Wentorf reported that the diamonds he created were green.”
Malcom stated that an international team is currently collaborating to transform diamonds into metals under more than 10 million times atmospheric pressure.
“While diamond is the most stable form of carbon at high pressures, it is not the most stable form of carbon at extremely high pressures – such as the pressures found deep inside very large planets or white dwarf stars. At these extremely high pressures, the structure of carbon changes again, and we expect it to be a metal,” he added.