FOR KIDS: Harder than diamonds?
Researchers create new material that may be world’s hardest
Web edition: October 23, 2012
This image depicts a mix of fullerenes (pink) and xylene (blue) molecules before they're compressed to form a material that can dent diamonds.
Credit: Carnegie Institution of Washington
Diamonds have long been considered the world’s hardest material. Scrape one across any surface, and it will leave a scratch. Press one into any surface, and it will make a dent. But the prized mineral’s record status now appears in peril: Researchers have created a new material that may be even harder than diamond.
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