Thursday, January 18, 2007

Carbon vs Silicon

Last week I wrote about my exciting new computer. The truth is, though, that I needed a new computer some time ago. However, I realized that I could either buy a computer or something else. I decided to go with the something else:

(It's not the greatest picture, but it'll do)

I'm taking a solid state physics course this semester. We spent the first to lectures discussing crystal structure. While silicon has a boring crystal structure (Face-centered cubic), diamond has a really cool crystal structure (which kinda starts as a face-centered cubic):

In related news, I found out that a guy called Marcel Tolkowsky actually calculated the best way to cut a diamond using optical principles.

And the new computer has successfully made it from Earth City, MO and now decorates our dining room.

And since I think I'm still, still within the statute of limitations for Argentina, here's one last picture from an elevator in the university in Mar del Plata:
Unfortunately, I was not in the elevator with any overly fat people, so none of the lights lit up.


  1. Eli, Stacy probably won't like it as much, but personally I find the flat hexagonal sheets of graphite quite aesthetic. Maybe next time you could buy her a pencil or a lump of coal?

  2. Eli, I don't know if you should post pics of jewelry you buy for women. Your wife might get jealous.

  3. Not related to this post directly, but I saw this and immediately thought of you guys. I wonder why...

  4. don't know you, but just wanted to point out that diamond has an identical structure to silicon. (i.e., both follow the structure shown in your image, and both technically have face-centered cubic (FCC) symmetry).