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Thread: diamond within the core

  1. #1 diamond within the core 
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    i'm currently writing a report for school and am quite stumped on the subject i was handed. i need to answer this question:

    * What would happen to a human being, were he trapped inside a hollow sphere made of diamond, and located in the dead center of the Earth's core?

    The dimensions of the sphere are left unsaid, so i would also like to know the best dimensions to allow survival. Also, for my own amusement, I'd like to know what would happen if the human trapped in there was immortal and impervious to heat.


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  3. #2  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    They would suffer as the intense gravity would implode the hard but very brittle diamond and crush said human into a small smear of organic materiel floating in the center of the area.


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  4. #3  
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    I think you mean pressure - as the net gravity at Earth's center is zero.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  5. #4  
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    i see. and what would the condition of the sphere ned to be to allow survival? (thickness, hardness, other factors?)
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  6. #5  
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    The pressure at the center of the earth is about 330 GPa and the compressive strength of diamond is 443 GPa. Given those numbers, it would be at least theoretically possible to make a huge diamond with a hollow cavity that would resist the pressure. However, that compressive strength is at normal temperatures. The temperature at the center of the earth is about 5700 K. I don't know what would happen to a diamond at that temperature.
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  7. #6  
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    well then i guess i'm lucky i only need to do a theory report. My research has been rather fruitful up until now, however it's 2 pages short. How would the diamond react if it was simply lodged in the Mantle? my guess is that the pressure would only solidify it, since the mantle is the place where diamonds are made
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  8. #7 Re: diamond within the core 
    Reptile Dysfunction drowsy turtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maelstrom
    Also, for my own amusement, I'd like to know what would happen if the human trapped in there was immortal and impervious to heat.
    The most interesting effect would be weightlessness.

    Because, being at the centre, you are atracted to the mass of the earth in every direction in equal amounts, you would have an overall force of 0 applied to you.

    Should you remain completely motionless, you would slowly drift towards the absolute centre of mass of the Earth, untill your centre of mass is directly on that of the Earth. This would take probably a matter of weeks, months, or even years.

    Over time, your diamond sphere would actually melt (probably) based on estimates for the temperature at the centre of the earth, and you would be crushed by the pressure.

    http://hypertextbook.com/facts/1999/PhillipChan.shtml

    Stay at the surface is my advice.
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
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  9. #8 Re: diamond within the core 
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    Quote Originally Posted by drowsy turtle
    you would slowly drift towards the absolute centre of mass of the Earth, untill your centre of mass is directly on that of the Earth.
    Earth's center of gravity is always changing though. So the diamond cave walls, being more rooted to Earth than the dude inside it, would ram him. Then he'd tumble along the walls. The severity of his torment depends on how large the cave is, and how bouncy is the man.

    I'm suggesting that heavy metals like uranium can't settle at the core. But what kind of order might emerge?
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  10. #9 Re: diamond within the core 
    Reptile Dysfunction drowsy turtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by drowsy turtle
    you would slowly drift towards the absolute centre of mass of the Earth, untill your centre of mass is directly on that of the Earth.
    Earth's center of gravity is always changing though. So the diamond cave walls, being more rooted to Earth than the dude inside it, would ram him. Then he'd tumble along the walls. The severity of his torment depends on how large the cave is, and how bouncy is the man.
    I doubt the forces involved would be great enough to cause any harm, especially considering the core is solid (although probably acts plastically).
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
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  11. #10  
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    The thought experiment calls for a hollow sphere, at the "dead center". But Earth, like a wibbling water-balloon, has no dead center. So I dunno, somebody help me here..?

    The discussion could illustrate forces acting on the dynamo and the arrangement of heavy metals.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  12. #11  
    Forum Sophomore hokie's Avatar
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    Don't forget that diamond is an excellent conductor of heat. You'd experience the full temperature of the core inside of the diamond.
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  13. #12 Re: diamond within the core 
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    Quote Originally Posted by drowsy turtle
    Quote Originally Posted by maelstrom
    Also, for my own amusement, I'd like to know what would happen if the human trapped in there was immortal and impervious to heat.
    The most interesting effect would be weightlessness..
    Or nearly so, you might feel the subtle effects of the center of gravity of the earth-moon system shifted around you.
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  14. #13 Re: diamond within the core 
    Reptile Dysfunction drowsy turtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by drowsy turtle
    Quote Originally Posted by maelstrom
    Also, for my own amusement, I'd like to know what would happen if the human trapped in there was immortal and impervious to heat.
    The most interesting effect would be weightlessness..
    Or nearly so, you might feel the subtle effects of the center of gravity of the earth-moon system shifted around you.
    You'd probably never notice...
    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
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  15. #14  
    Geo
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    The melting point of Carbon - diamond - is ~ 3980K. The temperature of the core is ~ 6000K.
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