COULD SYNTHETIC DIAMONDS TURN THE DREAM OF DRIVERLESS CARS INTO REALITY?
Element Six, a tech company based in Oxfordshire, England, and owned by diamond mining giant De Beers, claims that one day, albeit decades away, it could change the world: researchers at the company now claim that lab-grown red diamonds, which are highly sensitive to magnetic waves, could one day replace GPS systems.
According to several news reports dedicated to the subject, these red synthetic diamonds have what researchers call a nitrogen vacancy defect at their center – and it is precisely this defect which creates the diamond’s incredible sensitivity to magnetic waves. Currently, these red diamonds are able to detect the passing of a car 300 meters away.
In the future, the diamonds could be attuned to pinpoint their own location on the surface of the planet by reading magnetic waves from the sun – which would eliminate the need for GPS satellites. Then, driverless cars could indeed become a reality, since the “GPS diamond” could allow cars to move safely around each other.
This isn’t the only practical, potentially world-changing application for diamonds found recently. A research in Bristol University published in December 2016 found batteries crafted from new lab-grown diamonds could last for more than 5,000 years. The scientists created the radioactive diamond batteries by converting nuclear waste. These could be used to power pacemakers, drones, satellites, spacecraft and other equipment which needs to run reliably for a long time.
This new ambitious project, the researchers claimed, is a breakthrough that could simultaneously help to solve a multitude of problems, including the safe disposal of nuclear waste, clean electricity generation and prolonging battery life. By encapsulating radioactive material inside diamonds, they added, they can turn a long-term problem of nuclear waste into a nuclear-powered battery and a long-term supply of clean energy.