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NOVA scienceNOW: Diamond Factory

Program Overview

Ever since diamonds were first discovered in India around 800 B.C., nature has held sole claim on their production patent! But now, scientists have begun to make flawless diamonds in the lab—a feat that promises not just more bling, but that could also advance technology in the fields of electronics, transportation, and communications.

This NOVA scienceNOW segment:

  • follows host Neil deGrasse Tyson as he visits a production facility that makes diamonds.

  • describes several extraordinary properties of diamonds—they can withstand being boiled in an acid or base; they conduct sound and heat faster, and also have a higher atomic density, than any other known material.

  • reports that these properties are all possible because of the diamond's unique crystal structure.

  • notes that mined diamonds are limited in their scientific applications because no two are alike.

  • details the procedure used to create lab-made diamonds.

  • puts the lab-produced diamonds to a test conducted by a New York City diamond expert.

  • reports on the impacts some of the new lab-made diamonds may have on the fields of electronics, transportation, and communications.

Taping Rights: Can be used up to one year after the program is taped off the air.

Teacher's Guide
NOVA scienceNOW: Diamond Factory