When it comes to making chemical bonds, some elements go together like peanut butter and jelly; but for others, it’s more like oil and water. Scientists can combat this elemental antipathy using extreme pressures. And now in ACS Central Science, researchers report that they have used pressure equivalent to that within the core of Mars to forge the first-ever iron-bismuth bond, which could help them make brand-new magnetic and superconducting materials.
For most reactions, the first step is to mix the “ingredients” evenly, which is unbelievably difficult to do with iron and bismuth. Even at nearly 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit—a temperature hot enough to melt both metals—only 0.16 percent of the bismuth will dissolve into the molten iron.
Danna Freedman and colleagues proposed using very high pressure to make the two elements more amenable to bonding. At pressures around 30 GPa, the researchers observed evidence of a new substance: FeBi2.
They found they could lower the pressure to 3GPa and still maintain the material, although back at earth’s atmospheric pressure (nearly 30,000 times lower) the compound returns to its constituent parts.
Something still seems off to me about the story we’ve been told, that Rose shattered Pink Diamond. Garnet at the end of Bubbled never says outright that it happened, just that Rose always did what was right for Earth, and her answers aren’t even evasions because Steven only asks why nobody told him about Pink Diamond, not whether it was true or not. We haven’t heard from Pearl yet, and Jasper has been conveniently silenced.
The only firm confirmation we have is from Eyeball Ruby who is dumb as a box of hammers. Not to mention that there’s a giant flaw in her story:
Eyeball Ruby: I saw it with my own eye! I watched the leader of the Crystal Gems, Rose Quartz, shatter Pink Diamond!
Eyeball Ruby: Who cares about her shield!? Her huge sword is what I remember.
Bismuth: It can cut through a gem’s physical form in an instant! Destroying the body…but never the gem.
Eyeball Ruby remembers Rose Quartz wielding the sword that is literally incapable of smashing gems. There’s still something we’re not being told about what happened.