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You can never create more Bitcoin in a lab: Scientists create diamonds at room temperature in minutes

The gemstones are usually created after carbon is crushed and heated far beneath the Earth's surface over billions of years -- which is what makes them so coveted.

Now, scientists in Australia say they have sped up the process into just a matter of minutes -- and at room temperature.

An international team of researchers led by the Australian National University (ANU) and RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia said Wednesday they have created two types of diamond at room temperature by using high pressure equivalent to 640 African elephants balancing on the tip of a ballet shoe.

The researchers said they were able to create two types of structurally distinct diamonds -- one similar to those typically worn in jewelery, and another type called Lonsdaleite, which is found naturally at the site of meteorite impacts and is harder than most diamonds.

Synthetic diamonds are not themselves new, and have already been created in labs since the 1940s in a bid to find cheaper, ethical and environmentally friendly stones.

But researchers were excited to create such diamonds at room temperature, especially the harder Lonsdaleite diamond, which has the potential to be used to cut through "ultra-solid" materials on mining sites, they said.

"Creating more of this rare but super useful diamond is the long-term aim of this work," said Xingshuo Huang, an ANU scholar working on the project. "Being able to make two types of diamonds at room temperature was exciting to achieve for the first time in our lab."

Lab grown diamonds are usually created by carbon being subjected to intense heat.

A huge twisting, sliding force

To form the diamonds, researchers applied immense pressure to create a "twisting or sliding force" that they believe caused the carbon atoms to move into place, said Jodie Bradby, a physics professor at ANU.

"Natural diamonds are usually formed over billions of years, about 150 kilometers (about 93 miles) de...

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