Geology

Silicon or Silicone?

You might think the word play of silicon and silicone is a little like the debate over “you say tomato (toh-may-toe) and I say tomatoe” (toh-mah-toe). But while it might seem like the two words can switched easily and mean the same thing, they simply can’t be. Silicon and silicone are, in reality, two different things.

Silicon is a natural chemical found pretty much everywhere on Earth. That’s because silicon is a primary component in sand. Take a look at sand using a magnifying glass and you’ll find silicon pretty easily because it is usually found in crystal form.

Diamond in the Rough

A diamond is a collection of interconnected carbon atoms whose strong chemical bonds make the brilliant, super-hard crystals we know. Watch NC State University researchers create brighter, harder, magnetic diamonds with a few quick blasts of a powerful laser. See how by rearranging the chemical bonds in a diamond, they can quickly and cheaply make the new and improved Q-carbon.

Space Scoop

See the new device NASA is testing to chip pieces off an asteroid. The new tool for astronauts was not developed in NASA labs, but rather at High Point University right here in North Carolina. Scientists are interested in asteroids because they haven't changed much since the dawn of the solar system. Asteroid fragments that the "chip and ship" could capture would help give scientists an early picture of the solar system.

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