The Instigator
Proving_a_Negative
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Envisage
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Liquid diamonds cannot exist.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Envisage
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/2/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 993 times Debate No: 69309
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (15)
Votes (1)

 

Proving_a_Negative

Pro

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Opening Argument
Round 3: Rebuttal and Closing Statement

I have no idea why I'm starting this debate. I'm saying that diamond cannot become a liquid (or a gas for that matter) no matter how much you heat it up.
Envisage

Con

I accept, best of luck.
Debate Round No. 1
Proving_a_Negative

Pro

Thank you for accepting my challenge. To begin, let me clearly define what a diamond is. A diamond is made up of pure carbon with 4 covalent bonds to the surrounding carbon atoms in a tetrahedral geometry. This creates a covalent network solid in which individual units of diamonds don't exist. It is all one giant molecule, diamond.

What does melting actually do? For water and most other molecules, this means that we are overtaking the intermolecular forces that attract one molecule to another. These intermolecular forces are weak enough to break but still allow the water molecule to exist separately. The covalent bonds that hold the individual water molecule don't break as easily. Therefore, water can melt and evaporate.

What is the difficulty with diamond? Diamond exists as one giant molecule. There are absolutely no intermolecular forces holding the carbon atoms together. You must add enough energy to break the covalent bonds before allowing diamond to melt. Once you break the covalent bonds, it is no longer diamond. It is another allotrope of carbon. Therefore, it is impossible to melt diamond.
Envisage

Con

I thank Pro for this debate.

Diamond Definition
I will start out by immediately rejecting Pro’s definition of a diamond. Given that Pro did not define a diamond within the rules round then it is most certainly up for debate. The problem with Pro’s definition is that diamonds have been known for nearly 3,000 years, and have been used in jewellery since antiquity. The discovery of diamond’s chemical composition, crystal structure and morphophology did not begin to occur until the 18th century with the works of Antione Lavoisier, Smithson Tennet and onwards.[5]

As such, the chemical properties of diamonds are a discovered identity, rather than a formal definition. One can come up with another definition of diamond to include it’s chemical properties, but they are doing so arbitrarily.

o illustrate this point, IF it was discovered instead in the 18/19th century that diamond was actually an allotrope of silicon, then it would still be labelled a “diamond”, since it is it’s predating macroscopic properties that define that a diamond is.

Melting Diamonds

While Diamond does not melt at ambient pressure (it sublimes directly into a gas instead), it is known to melt under extreme pressures (>450,000 atmospheres!). While these conditions are extreme, it is black and white evidence that diamonds are capable of going directly to a liquid phase.[1,2] A computational phase diagram of carbon, including diamond’s molten phase is given below:[3]

Water

Also, Pro runs into serious problems when he defines water by its molecules. Water is known to be partially ionised, even once it has been purified to near essentially 100% purity. This is because the water molecule (H2O) disassociates into hydroxide (OH-) and hydronium (H3O+) ions under the conditions in which “liquid water” exists (at pH 7 there is 10-7 mol/dm3 of ionised “water”). This ionisation is partially why water conducts electricity.

Thus, even what we classify as “pure water” is not actually “pure water” according to Pro’s definition of what makes water, water, which is absurd. If do not define water according to its covalent chemical bonding however then we do not run into this problem.

Thus, according to Pro’s logic, it is essentially impossible to have “liquid water” since covalent bonds are invariably broken in that state.

Diamond – The Molecule

Pro is partially right in that any diamond is essentially, a large molecule. However, Pro is incorrect the nature of a “diamond” IS to be a large molecule. When we apply chemical identities, virtually any explicit molecule has a well-defined chemical structure that is specific in both its size and connectivity. However, a diamond “molecule” is not specific in size, as it can take a plethora of shapes and sizes. Thus a diamond is clearly not defined by the fact that it is *a* molecule. This is extended by the fact that impurities incorporated into the molecules, both internally and at the surface such as nitrogen, silicon and sulphur, which are incorporated within the covalent scaffold, yet a diamond remains a diamond.[4] If we take any organic molecule, such as ethanol, and start covalently sticking sulphur atoms onto it, then I wager the local brewery isn’t going to be happy having stinky sulphides maintaining the label of ethanol!

Thus, there is a clear distinction between how a diamond is defined, and how a molecule is defined. Moreover, the definition of a diamond holds even in spite of impurities within the lattice, which gives excellent reason to prefer the traditional definition of a diamond over Pro’s definition.

As such, diamonds do melt!

References
1. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com...
2. http://www.nature.com...
3. http://journals.aps.org...
4. http://en.wikipedia.org...
5. http://en.wikipedia.org...;

Debate Round No. 2
Proving_a_Negative

Pro

I thank you for this challenging debate.

Diamond Definition
I will start out by immediately rejecting Con's definition of a diamond. Indeed, I did not define what a diamond was, since this is such a universal fact. However, I am obligated to point out the definition according to Merriam-Webster is the following:

diamond

a very hard usually colorless stone that is a form of carbon and is used especially in jewelry

What form or allotrope of carbon are they referring to? Well diamond of course. Here is more information on this particular allotrope of carbon:

A diamond is a transparent crystal of tetrahedrally bonded carbon atoms in a covalent network lattice (sp3) that crystallizes into the diamond lattice which is a variation of the face centered cubicstructure. Diamonds have been adapted for many uses because of the material's exceptional physical characteristics. Most notable are its extreme hardness and thermal conductivity (900–2,320 W·m−1·K−1), as well as wide bandgap and high optical dispersion. Above1,700 °C (1,973 K / 3,583 °F) in vacuum or oxygen-free atmosphere, diamond converts to graphite; in air, transformation starts at ~700 °C. Diamond's ignition point is 720 – 800 °C in oxygen and 850 – 1,000 °C in air. Naturally occurring diamonds have a density ranging from 3.15–3.53 g/cm3, with pure diamond close to 3.52 g/cm3. The chemical bonds that hold the carbon atoms in diamonds together are weaker than those in graphite. In diamonds, the bonds form an inflexible three-dimensional lattice, whereas in graphite, the atoms are tightly bonded into sheets, which can slide easily over one another, making the overall structure weaker. In a diamond, each carbon atom is surrounded by neighboring four carbon atoms forming a tetrahedral shaped unit.

Find more here: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Impurities in Water and Diamond
Impurities are associated with water and diamonds. When we describe what water is, we will classify it as H2O. When we discuss the properties of water, we will discuss autoionization and other related topics. Water isn't the hydronium or the hydroxide ions floating in it. It just so happens that wherever water is, we will find said ions. Diamonds contain impurities, but that isn't what diamond is. When we discuss diamond, we keep note that absolutely 100% pure diamonds don't exist. It's the carbon network solid we are discussing for melting diamonds.

Carbon Phase Diagram
Let me teach the audience here what a phase diagram is quickly since the way Con presented it was very misleading. The state that matter is in depends on both pressure and temperature. We can plot pressure on one axis and temperature on another. Each element and molecule contains its own phase diagram that usually has a solid, liquid, and gas state. Carbon is much more tricky though. Carbon has many different allotropes for solid. One that many people are familiar with would be graphite. These allotropes get divided into the solid region of carbon on the phase diagram. The phase diagram that Con showed was that of CARBON and not DIAMOND. Only when the pressure and temperature when plotted on that graph lie in the area of diamond, carbon is diamond. That statement is probably very confusing but absolutely vital for understanding. Once it leaves the diamond area and into the molten carbon (liquid), it is no longer diamond. You can melt diamond, but liquid diamond will not exist ever.

The Resolution
Carefully note the resolution. It states that liquid diamond cannot exist. It doesn't say that diamond cannot melt. There is a huge difference between these two. Con has proved that diamond does indeed melt (which I totally agree with), but hasn't provided evidence that it can exist as a liquid. The phase diagram shows that carbon can exist as a liquid, not diamond.

Conclusion
This was a very interesting debate. I can't wait to see your rebuttal to this. I want to ask you a few questions though. Why did you accept this debate? Were you simply testing my knowledge on this topic? Were you playing the devil's advocate? I really want to know. This was challenging for me, but I can't imagine your frustration trying to prove a fact wrong. I really appreciate this challenge though and thank you.

Sources
1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...

Envisage

Con

Diamond Definition
Pro hangs himself on the noose when he uses the mwerriam Webster definition “form of carbon”. It mentions nothing of allotropes, only that it must be a form of carbon. As far as I am aware, when diamond melts (which Pro conceded it indeed does) the carbon atoms don’t transmute into some other element, thus the molten form of diamond is indeed also another form of carbon.

When looking up the Merriam Webster definition of “water” we get the following:

the liquid that descends from the clouds as rain, forms streams, lakes, and seas, and is a major constituent of all living matter and that when pure is an odorless, tasteless, very slightly compressible liquid oxide of hydrogen H2O which appears bluish in thick layers, freezes at 0° C and boils at 100° C, has a maximum density at 4° C and a high specific heat, is feebly ionized to hydrogen and hydroxyl ions, and is a poor conductor of electricity and a good solvent”

According to this definition, then “solid water” and “gaseous water” are oxymorons, but Pro has already largely conceded that these forms of water do exist. Thus Pro must either rreject the Merriam Webster definitions (which undermines his own argument against diamonds), or accept them but also accept that colloquial definitions take priority. In either case, Pro’s case has been undermined.

Pro continually conflates the nature of something, with its discovered identities. The planet Earth’s definition doesn’t change when we discover new facts about it, such as new cave systems, trenches, etc. Simialrly, discovering new facts about solid diamond doesn’t modify the definition used (such as the fact that solid diamond is a covalent network).


Impurities in Water and Diamond
“Impurities are associated with water and diamonds. When we describe what water is, we will classify it as H2O. “

… and we classify diamond as a form of carbon…


Carbon Phase Diagram
The number of allotropes of each element is irrelevant to whether or not that element can exist in liquid form. I plainly demonstrated it does and Pro conceded this.


The Resolution
Carefully note the resolution. It states that liquid diamond cannot exist. It doesn't say that diamond cannot melt. There is a huge difference between these two. Con has proved that diamond does indeed melt (which I totally agree with), but hasn't provided evidence that it can exist as a liquid. The phase diagram shows that carbon can exist as a liquid, not diamond.

Moreover, Pro concedes that diamond that can melt… melted diamond…. Is essentially what the resolution demands… “liquid diamond”.

Conclusion
I demonstrated that diamonds, melt, and that with traditional definitions of diamond which being the preferred definitions, entails that liquid diamonds do exist. Pro didn’t provide reasons why we should prefer his definitions and I made arguments against discovered identities being included in the definition, as this leads to absurdity when applied in virtually any other context.

Debate Round No. 3
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Proving_a_Negative 2 years ago
Proving_a_Negative
I have 2 more ideas if you are interested. The existence of the periodic table of antimatter [elements]-Pro
Also the plausibility of alchemy- Pro. Sadly I am not nearly as flexible as you are with your topics. I will look into the liquid salt reactors topic since that seems most interesting to me.
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
I have a few I could do.

"Stephen Buchwald & John Hartwig ought to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry" - Pro
"Graphene Technology will have significant commercial impact" - Con
"The Pharmaceutical Industry is unsustainable" - Pro
"The RNA World Hypothesis is probably correct" - Con
"The US & EU should make significant financial efforts to research Liquid Salt Reactors" (Fission reactors) -Pro

Those off the top of my head. I can also go devil's advocate on those.
Posted by Proving_a_Negative 2 years ago
Proving_a_Negative
Are there any other chemistry related topics that you would be interested in debating?
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
Damn... I was supposed to post a video to the Kenye West's song - Diamonds

https://www.youtube.com...
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
"Why did you accept this debate?"
For fun. Diamonds are cool. I mostly debate for fun.

"Were you simply testing my knowledge on this topic?"
Not really..

"Were you playing the devil's advocate?"
Yes.

When I read through the papers that tried to directly melt diamonds, the conditions were insane. Diamond melts at higher temperatures than any metal, so you cannot exactly put a diamond in a pressurised pot and heat it... Lasers are the way.
Posted by Proving_a_Negative 2 years ago
Proving_a_Negative
Hmm.. I have noticed a flaw in my opening argument. I stated that diamond cannot melt or evaporate. This is wrong as explained by Con's opening argument. What I meant to say was that it cannot be a liquid or a gas. Sorry for the confusion.
Posted by Proving_a_Negative 2 years ago
Proving_a_Negative
Sweet mother of... I am debating with by far the most intellectual human on this website. As a bonus, he is doing research in chemistry. I am but an organic chemistry student.
Posted by Proving_a_Negative 2 years ago
Proving_a_Negative
I did find one person who believed that liquid diamonds could exist. I wish he would have started the debate but sadly he didn't. I'm just hunting for some easy wins.
Posted by Proving_a_Negative 2 years ago
Proving_a_Negative
Liquid carbon for sure but not diamond.
Posted by debate_power 2 years ago
debate_power
You can't have liquid molecules with crystal structure, to my knowledge.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TBR 2 years ago
TBR
Proving_a_NegativeEnvisageTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Good debate. Con got me thinking and did an excellent job. Can't call it a clear win either way, but I moved from "pro" to "tied" of who did you agree with. Very cool.