Liquid diamonds cannot exist.
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.
I accept, best of luck.
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.
I thank Pro for this debate.
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:
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. 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!
I thank you for this challenging debate.
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:
a very hard usually colorless stone that is a form of carbon and is used especially in jewelry
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).
… and we classify diamond as a form of carbon…
Moreover, Pro concedes that diamond that can melt… melted diamond…. Is essentially what the resolution demands… “liquid diamond”.
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