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With the right amount of pressure and surprisingly little heat, a substance found in fossil fuels can transform into pure diamond.
Wendy Mao edited a new book on the physical and chemical properties of deep carbon, and "we have still only barely scratched the surface in terms of understanding carbon in planetary interiors,” she says.
Researchers have determined how hydrogen molecules are packed at extremely high pressures. Their work solves the long-standing mystery of the structure of the dense form of hydrogen, called phase IV.
A new technique involving pulses of ultrafast, high-power lasers has allowed scientists to see how silicon, an abundant element in Earth's crust, changes under intense pressure.