Models of Diamond and Graphite Atoms main content.

Models of Diamond and Graphite Atoms

Part of Harry Frank Guggenheim Hall of Minerals.

a.2.03_diamond_atoms_COMBO_hero

About

Both graphite and diamond are made of carbon. But diamond, with more closely packed atoms, is considerably harder than graphite.

Exhibition Text

Characteristic physical properties distinguishing each mineral reflect the chemical elements present and, more importantly, their arrangement in its crystal structure. Seen here are the crystal structure of graphite and of diamond, both minerals formed solely of the element carbon. Close packing in all directions of atoms in the diamond explain its great hardness. In graphite, atoms within a plane are closely p