The outermost shell of each carbon atom has four electrons. In diamond, these electrons are shared with four other carbon atoms to form very strong chemical bonds resulting in an extremely rigid tetrahedral crystal. It is this simple, tightly-bonded arrangement that makes diamond one of the hardest substances on Earth.
Is diamond the hardest material on Earth?
While diamonds may be the hardest naturally occurring substance found on earth, he explains, they are not the hardest available (there are two harder substances – a laboratory synthetic nanomaterial called wurtzite boron nitride and a substance found in meteorites called lonsdaleite).
Are diamonds actually the hardest?
While diamonds are classically viewed as the hardest material found on Earth, they are neither the strongest material overall nor even the strongest naturally occurring material. … Diamonds are still one of the hardest naturally occurring and abundant materials on Earth, but these six materials all have it beat.
What’s harder than a diamond?
Moissanite, a naturally occurring silicon-carbide, is almost as hard as diamond. It is a rare mineral, discovered by the French chemist Henri Moissan in 1893 while examining rock samples from a meteor crater located in Canyon Diablo, Arizona. Hexagonal boron-nitride is 18% harder than diamond.
Why are diamonds so strong?
Diamonds are made of carbon so they form as carbon atoms under a high temperature and pressure; they bond together to start growing crystals. … That’s why a diamond is such a hard material because you have each carbon atom participating in four of these very strong covalent bonds that form between carbon atoms.
What’s the strongest thing in the world?
The World’s Strongest Stuff
- Diamond. Unmatched in its ability to resist being scratched, this much-loved gemstone ranks the highest in terms of hardness. …
- Graphene. …
- Spider silk. …
- Carbon/carbon composite. …
- Silicon carbide. …
- Nickel-based super-alloys.