It seems that the same group of scientists who were able to peanuts into diamonds is at it again, this time creating red crystals out of oxygen. The technique utilizes pressure higher than that found at the center of the earth.
The technique made it possible to turn peanut butter to diamonds by squeezing the paste between the tips of two diamonds. This creates a “stiletto heel effect,” causing diamonds to form from the peanut butter. The same group of scientists’ claim that they can also turn oxygen into red crystals, which one day might be useful in helping humans breathe underwater or help those with lung disease breathe without lugging around an oxygen tank.
According to Professor Malcolm McMahon, “Pressure can cause extraordinary changes in all kinds of materials and can create completely novel materials.
We are currently developing techniques that will create pressure of up to five million atmospheres, much higher than the pressure at the center of the earth, to find the holy grail of high-pressure physics, the metallic phase of hydrogen.”
The oxygen crystals, dubbed “Aquaman crystals“, were formed when a crystalline material pulls all the oxygen out of a room with just a spoonful. This releases oxygen when it’s needed, suggesting that one day the concept of carrying bulky equipment will be a thing of the past.
The experiment could be valuable for those who need to carry oxygen tanks with them as well as divers. With just a few grains of Aquaman crystals, divers will have enough oxygen for one breath. The new material utilizes element of cobalt bound in an organic molecule.