Friday, February 3, 2023

Powerful lightning effects reveal a new material in soil

Christian Garavaglia Christian Garavaglia meteor argentina 5 minutes
Fulgurite Quasicrystal Lightning
Cross-section of fulgurite, showing molten sand around the metal from a downed power line during a storm. Image: Luca Bindi.

A team of researchers has discovered a new quasicrystal In a dune field in Sandhills National Park in the state of Nebraska, USA. If confirmed, This may be a historical event, as all natural semi-crystals known to date were extraterrestrial, found in meteorites.,

Only a few cases of paranormal phenomena have been identified in the areas where they took place. nuclear bomb test,

new quasicrystal of unusual design, was identified by geologist Luca Bindi of the University of Florence. The discovery, made in collaboration with researchers from Princeton University, Caltech and the University of South Florida, was published in PNAS.

Quasicrystals are very valuable industrial field

“Quasicrystals are materials in which the atoms are arranged like a mosaic, in regular patterns that do not repeat themselves in the same way as what happens in normal crystals,” he explained in a statement. luca dotProfessor of Mineralogy in the Department of Earth Sciences.

The scientist recalls that “it was Dan Schechtman, who was later awarded the Nobel Prize for his discoveries, who studied their structure in the 1980s, which makes them valuable for applications in various industrial sectors.” Although later Bindi herself discovered it that material was also present in naturethanks for recognizing Quasicrystals in a meteorite specimen preserved in the Natural History Museum of the University of Florence.

“We discovered other quasicrystals of an extraterrestrial nature and the first quasicrystals of anthropogenic nature, formed in the detonation process of the first nuclear test conducted by the US in 1945: all produced under extreme conditions of pressure and temperature in nanoseconds”. announced to the media.

Naturally occurring quasicrystals on Earth are more

The first findings aroused the intuition of the researcher, who, together with his American colleagues, began to study the structure of other materials formed under such extraordinary conditions. and focuses the attention of scholars Fulgurites, which are produced when the heat developed by an electrical discharge melts quartz-bearing silica sand.,

Initial image shows fulgurite, New quasicrystals were detected in the metallic part of the center.

“The sample we analyzed was probably made by fusion of sand and material from a power line dropped by a powerful lightning dischargeThe researchers explain.

“The presence of siliceous glass suggests that it had reached temperatures of at least 1,710 °C, and investigations carried out at the University’s Center for Structural Crystallography confirmed that the quasicrystals have a dodecagonal symmetry consistent with periodic crystallography and Forbidden by previously unspecified composition. Bindi added.

The finding is important because it indicates There must be many other naturally occurring quasicrystals on Earth, whether caused by lightning or high voltage power lines. “These data”, the scientists conclude, “suggest in which directions other quasicrystals might be investigated and may provide more elements for developing technologies capable of synthesizing them.”

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