Synopses & Reviews
Since time immemorial, we have treasured diamonds for their exquisite beauty and unrivaled hardness. Yet, most of the earth's diamonds lie deep underground and totally unaccessible to us--if only we knew how to fabricate them! In The Diamond Makers Robert Hazen vividly recounts the very human desire to exceed nature and create a synthetic diamond. Spanning centuries of ground-breaking science, instances of bitter rivalry, cases of outright fraud and self-delusion, Hazen blends drama and science to reveal the extraordinary technological advances and devastating failures of the diamond industry. Along the way, readers will be introduced to the brilliant, often eccentric and controversial, pioneers of high-pressure research who have harnessed crushing pressures and scorching temperatures to transform almost any carbon-rich material, from road tar to peanut butter, into the most prized of all gems. Robert M. Hazen is the author of fifteen books, including the bestseller, Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy, which he wrote with James Trefil. Dr. Hazen has won numerous awards for his research and scientific writing.
"Utterly absorbing...Hazen makes the story profoundly exciting, conveying the scientific passion of the researchers....It's a gem." The Washington Post"Glittering prize....Read it and spread the word." New Scientist"Hazen tells the very interesting and gripping story of the manufacture of artificial diamonds in this find book." Choice"...illustrate[s] some of the best attributes of science writing..." Bloomsbury Review"...a first-class, fascinatingly well written history of the exciting developments that led to the creation of diamonds even from peanut butter." Science Books &Films"Robert Hazen's The Diamond Makers is a compelling, nontechnical narrative covering centuries of history related to diamond, centered mostly around brilliant, often eccentric and controversial pioneers of research at high pressures...The Diamond Makers is the first mahor publication to cover the whole period from the human point of view, while maintaining scientific integrity...Hazen gives a thorough and exciting account of the history of diamonds and the efforts to synthesize them...As one of the surviving diamond-makers, I an able to vouch for the thorough and open-minded interviews Hazen conducted." Physics Today
A compelling narrative relating the dramatic history of diamond making.
A narrative relating the dramatic history of diamond making.
Humans have treasured diamonds for their exquisite beauty and unrivaled hardness for thousands of years. Spanning centuries of ground-breaking science, bitter rivalry, outright fraud, and self-delusion, The Diamond Makers is a compelling narrative centered around the brilliant, often eccentric, and controversial pioneers of high pressure research. This vivid blend of dramatic personal stories and extraordinary scientific advances--and devastating failures--brings alive the quest to create the most prized of gems.
Table of Contents
Preface; Prologue; 1. Mysteries; 2. Attempts; 3. The legacy of Percy Bridgman; 4. Baltzar von Platen and the incredible diamond machine; 5. The crystals of Loring Coes; 6. Project Superpressure; 7. Breakthrough; 8. Secrets; 9. Risky business; 10. The rivals; 11. The new diamond makers: diamond by explosion; 12. The new diamond makers: diamonds from a vapor; 13. The diamond breakers; Epilogue.