Since time immemorial, we have treasured diamonds for their exquisite beauty and unrivaled hardness. Yet, most of the earth's diamonds lie deep underground and totally unaccessible to us--if only we knew how to fabricate them In The Diamond Makers Robert Hazen vividly recounts the very human desire to exceed nature and create a synthetic diamond. Spanning centuries of ground-breaking science, instances of bitter rivalry, cases of outright fraud and self-delusion, Hazen blends drama and science to reveal the extraordinary technological advances and devastating failures of the diamond industry. Along the way, readers will be introduced to the brilliant, often eccentric and controversial, pioneers of high-pressure research who have harnessed crushing pressures and scorching temperatures to transform almost any carbon-rich material, from road tar to peanut butter, into the most prized of all gems. Robert M. Hazen is the author of fifteen books, including the bestseller, Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy, which he wrote with James Trefil. Dr. Hazen has won numerous awards for his research and scientific writing.
'Read it and spread the word.' Robert Matthews, New Scientist 'Hazen represents the best of a rare breed ... Most of us do not know that the immense pressures reached in the interior of cosmic bodies like the earth can also be generated in our laboratories. This fascinating book explains the technology and important results of this pathbreaking work.' Stephen Jay Gould 'Very few scientists can convey the drama of scientific discovery and write as beautifully ... Hazen is a natural storyteller.' Frank Press, Past President, National Academy of Sciences 'Utterly absorbing new history ... Hazen makes the story profoundly exciting, conveying the scientific passion of the researchers ... It's a gem.' Curt Suplee, The Washington Post 'Sparkling gem of technological history ... Multifaceted and gleaming with drama and wit.' Kirkus Reviews 'Hazen exposes struggles, rivalries, failures, and successes in a captivating story.' Library Journal 'An amazing book ... I would recommend it without qualification.' Calvin Bass, Tulsa World 'Hazen tells the very interesting and gripping story of the manufacture of artificial diamonds in this fine book.' R. Rudman, Choice 'This is a scientific thriller. It has a rich cast of characters engaged in a quest (to make the first artificial diamonds); it has the lure of riches; it has the rivalry of the participants; and it has danger (not for nothing did high pressure researchers call their apparatus 'bombs').' Richard Stevenson, Chemistry in Britain 'The Diamond Makers is a first-class, fascinatingly well written history of the exciting developments that led to the creation of diamonds even from peanut butter.' William D. Romey, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY '... a compelling, nontechnical narrative covering centuries of history related to diamond, centred mostly around brilliant, often eccentric and controversial pioneers of research at high pressures ... a thorough and exciting account.' Francis P. Bundy, Physics Today 'I have been doing some studying and have just finished reading an outstanding book, The Diamond Makers by Robert M Hazen ... The book is of special interest to materials scientists.' Materials World