Friday, August 12, 2011

Hardness

Hardness

Yeah, so hardness is basically, how hard it is to scratch something. To test how hard it is, you scratch it with different materials, getting progressively higher in the Mohs scale. If you didn’t understand any of that, then here’s a nice clear table of the Mohs scale.

Hardness Level Example
1 Talc
2 Gypsum
3 Calcite
4 Fluorite
5 Apatite
6 Orthoclase Feldspar
7 Quartz
8 Topaz
9 Corundum
10 Diamond

Most of you out there probably don’t even know half of what these are, which is perfectly normal, as I have no idea what they are either. However, this is the fixed scale for hardness, so we’ll just have to use it..until there’s a mark there. Let’s say you chose a copper penny. You will find that it will be scratched at number 4. At this point, you scratch it with number 3 again. Is there a scratch? No. So you know that it is somewhere in between 4 and 3. Scientists out there say it is somewhere around 3.2-3.5, but for the rest of us, we don’t need to go in so deep, so and answer of 3.5 will be good enough.

If you’re super lucky though, you might find something that is completely off the chart. Let’s say you chose a bowl of cornflakes that had been sitting in your cupboard from last year. You keep on scratching it until you reach the diamond, and then even after you use your utmost strength in an attempt to scratch the cornflake with the diamond, there’s NO mark. This means that you have found a new material harder than diamond, and once you get it approved with the scientists, you can use a very official pen and proudly write Hardness level 11 and put “Mouldy Cornflakes” next to it. After that, you can spend your next few years becoming famous and getting visits to the White House and getting attacked by the paparazzi.

All jokes aside, there is a material that is harder than diamond. It’s called a nanodiamond, and it is created by compressing graphite.The scientists haven’t really decided what their nanodiamond’s hardness level should be, so they only just say that it’s over 10.

By the way, you’ll be happy to know that Kiat has received his dollar and fifty cents. Since he is too busy attending his own funeral, the money was sent to the bank for safekeeping.

3 comments:

  1. u spelt mohs scale wrongly. there is no apostrophe.

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