Do not have to fly to the edge of the Solar system to see a natural wonder, if you have powerful lasers and savvy. In the laboratory SLAC Stanford University have managed to achieve conditions under which the polystyrene crumb becomes a real diamonds. However, so small that they are of interest only to science.
Neptune’s atmosphere is rich in methane, a compound of carbon and hydrogen, of which is also plastic. All that one required, to apply a monstrously huge pressure, which tool was used Matter in Extreme Conditions (MEC), part of the most powerful x-ray laser in the world Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). Recently modernized, bringing the magnetic field up to 17 Tesla, in particular, for this experiment.
MEC laser radiation generated in the plastic shock wave of such force that the carbon atoms has been “squeezed out” of the substances and turned into tiny separate diamonds. Their sizes just a few nanometers, while on Neptune, according to the calculations, which could cause stones weighing in the millions of carats. But there is, and here we are talking about real diamonds.
The use of precious babies no time of their existence amounted to fractions of a second, while working lasers. However, scientists have got a clear idea about how can be formed the unusual rain of diamonds and what processes can occur in the atmosphere of Neptune. Plus made the first step towards the development of technology of synthesis of synthetic nano-diamond for the needs of future industries that do not yet exist.
In the nearest plans of this team of scientists to simulate the atmosphere of other planets of the Solar system.