Detecting diseases, removing CO2 from chemicals and uncovering the composition of the earth’s core: diamonds have many more uses than just decorating our hands. This January, Horizon talks to the researchers who are unearthing new ways of using one of nature’s most treasured materials.
New experiments that crush material between two diamonds to simulate the extraordinarily high temperatures and pressures found in the earth's interior are providing answers to the age-old questions of what our planet is made of, and where its ingredients came from.
This month, Horizon explores the weird and wonderful world of 2D materials. We talk to researchers revving up for a nano car race on a track the size of a flu virus, and others who are splicing atom-thick layers to create materials with on-demand properties. We find out how one scientist is bending and stretching 2D materials to create ultra-small sensors, and discover some of the other potential applications creating a buzz, including energy storage and high-power computing.
In August, we look at the social impact of mega events such as the Olympic Games, the links between sports and society, the benefits of high-intensity interval training, and how, one day, part of your football boots could have scored a winning goal at the World Cup, if shoemaker adidas gets its way.
Measuring energy fluctuations in the nucleus of a rare radioactive element could improve the accuracy of GPS from metres to centimetres, while marbled volcanic magma is being used to create eruption countdowns, thanks to groups of European researchers who are pushing the boundaries of timekeeping.
Geochemical stopwatches may also predict volcano eruptions.
SOFT Prize winner Jonathan Naish has developed a virtual reality system.