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Compare and contrast the properties of diamond and graphite

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Rudina El Dokani

on 17 December 2013

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Transcript of Compare and contrast the properties of diamond and graphite

Why do Diamonds and Graphite have such different properties?

Compare and contrast the properties of diamond and graphite
The properties of Diamonds and Graphite are somewhat alike because both come from the same element (Carbon) but also really different. They are chemically identical but very different physically, which is why they are called polymorphous. Some differences that Diamonds and Graphite have are that Diamonds are very hard whereas Graphite is very soft and easy to break. Also, a Diamond’s density is greater than that of Graphite. Graphite is surprisingly a good conductor but Diamond is not, which doesn’t make a lot of sense since both are made of the same element. Also, a the physical appearance of a Diamond is bright and shiny whereas Graphite is dark and dull. As you can see, these two elements have very different properties but a similar property that they have is that both Diamonds and Graphite have a high melting point.
Compare and contrast the uses of diamond of and graphite
Since Diamonds and Graphite have quite different properties, they are used for very different reasons. Diamonds for example are used in cutting tools since it is a hard material, and also for drilling holes through rocky layers of the ground for oil-well drills. Diamonds are also used in jewelries because it’s transparent and reflective; it also has an extra-ordinary brilliance. Diamond is also long lasting making it more durable to use in jewelry therefore making it more expensive. Surgeons also use Sharpe-edged Diamonds to remove cataract, which is a condition where the eye becomes progressively opaque, which leads to a blurred vision, from the eye. Since Diamonds are also very sensitive, they are used in high precision thermometers and in protective windows to keep out harmful radiations. Graphite on the other hand, is used in lead pencils with a mixture of clay and as a component in printer ink. It is also used as a conductor of electricity and a moderator in nuclear reactors. As you can see, even though both are made of carbon, they are used in very diverse ways and in various elements.
Explain how science has determined their properties and uses
Scientists have determined the properties of Diamond and Graphite by either running a few tests, like heating them to find out what their melting point is, or breaking them to if they are hard or soft objects. Scientists also look at the atomic structure of the object to determine the conductivity of the object, the density… Usually the tests and the atomic structure support each other meaning that if the atom of Diamond has closely packed strong covalent bonds, then the object would have a higher density, than Graphite. Another example would be that since Diamonds have a three dimensional network of strong covalent bonds, which makes it hard, but Graphite on the other hand has flat layers of carbon atoms held by weak van der Waal’s forces which makes Graphite a weak object and easily breakable ( What is the differences in physical properties of Diamond and Graphite).
What are the positives and negatives about knowing these properties?
The positives of knowing what the properties of Diamonds and Graphite are that you can determine which to use for a certain reason, for example, if you had to use one of these two allotropes to drill through something though, then it would be good to know their properties, and then you would know that diamond would be the best choice because diamond is very though and very hard to brake, whereas Graphite is not. But if you had to decide which allotrope to use to conduct electricity, then you would have to know the properties of each allotrope to determine that Graphite is a better conductor of electricity. Also someone would want to know what the properties are to see if that allotrope would help them do or accomplish what they wanted. I think that their aren’t many negatives of knowing the properties of any element but some negatives could be that knowing the properties of Diamond made it much more expensive and therefore is not used that much compared to other elements or allotropes. I people did not know their properties then maybe we could use it in more ways and that could maybe help our society grow and be more advanced.
Choose a One World topic and explain how human use of diamonds and graphite affect the world in which we live in.
I think that the One World factor that suites how the use of Diamonds and Graphite affect the world in which we live in today is economic. I believe this because scientists have discovered many different ways to use these allotropes that only improve our economy and the world we live in today. Both Graphite and Diamonds are used in various different ways, which I have mentioned before, and without them, then the world would probably quite different from what it is today. It also improves our economy because since Diamonds a relatively expensive, you could trade it and get a very big income in exchange though would only help our country/ area. Graphite is not as expensive as Diamonds but still help our economy grow because its uses are needed in many objects, things we use everyday.
Graphite Atoms
Diamond Atom
By Rudina El Dokani
Science 9 (1)
Mrs. Nicholl
Tuesday December 17th
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