Peanut butter has been a source of delight since the time of the Aztecs, and just when it seems well decided that nothing can be done to improve upon an already good thing, scientists have figured out a way to make peanut butter even better.
Geophysicist Dan Frost has subjected peanut butter to forces equal to that of the Earth’s lower mantle, and in the process he has converted this treat into a treasure: a diamond.
The conditions in the Earth’s lower mantle — more than 1,800 miles below the surface — are intense. With temperatures approaching 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit (2,200 degrees Celsius) and pressures 1.3 million times that of surface, peanut butter undergoes a radical change. Chemically, peanut butter exists as C57H104O6 (roasted peanuts) and C12H22O11 (sucrose). Under such extreme conditions the oxygen and hydrogen atoms are stripped away, leaving carbon — the single ingredient of pure diamonds.