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Could I Really Swim in Bling?

In this month’s physical edition (it was published online in November of last year) of Nature Physics there is an article about the temperature diamonds melt at in ultra-high pressure situations. The article is actually called “Melting Temperature of Diamond at Ultrahigh Pressure”, by JH Eggert, et al. The reason I’m getting into this is because I have seen multiple ‘synopses’ of this article pop-up across the internet on various sci-fi like sites (and some news sites) stating the possibility of diamond oceans on Uranus and Neptune. Is a diamond ocean even possible?

The short answer is no. The long answer is when diamond gets melted down to a liquid it’s not even a diamond anymore. The name diamond denotes the crystalline structure that the carbon takes on.  The article in question never even says “liquid diamond”. They’re smart enough to know to call it “pure carbon in a liquid metallic state”.  The part the news sites got right is that they do speculate, in the last paragraph, that a core of solid carbon and a liquid carbon surface could be a contributing factor in what causes the planets magnetic poles to be so weird (not north and south poles like we have on Earth). The article also says that the planets could have diamond-rich inner layers, but that’s still only speculation at this point.

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