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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Stiff

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:05 PM

"The stiffest material around is diamond.
The strength and lightness of a material
depends on the number and strength of
the bonds that hold its atoms together,
and on the lightness of the atoms.
The element that best fits both criteria
is carbon, which is lightweight and forms
stronger bonds than any other atom.
The carbon-carbon bond is especially
strong; each carbon atom can bond to
four neighboring atoms. In diamond,
then, a dense network of strong bonds
creates a strong, light, and stiff material.
Indeed, just as we named the Stone Age,
the Bronze Age, and the Steel Age after
the materials that humans could make,
we might call the new technological epoch
we are entering the Diamond Age."
[Link added.]

— "It's a Small, Small, Small, Small World,"
by Ralph C. Merkle, 
MIT Technology Review , Feb./Mar. 1997

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