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RE: bad science - CSI Miami

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You are right, Andrew. A diamond has a compressive strength of over 4 GPa

 

Randall H. Collier, P.E

 


From: Andrew Kester, PE [mailto:akester(--nospam--at)cfl.rr.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 10:53 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: bad science - CSI Miami

 

Since we have pointed out incorrect science on TV before, specifically on CSI Miami, I saw another one the other night on the same show. I love that show, not because it is good, but because it is bad. It is so unrealistic, and campy and cheesy, that I love it. Plus David Caruso and the way he stands at weird angles and delivers his lines just makes me laugh. Not to mention the Hummers they drive, the all glass AAA office building they use as a station, and the fact they have a computer program for doing EVERYTHING, and it is always animated to be nice and pretty. OK, I know it is a TV show...

 

Anyway, they were testing a diamond they thought was fake in a lab in a machine that looked a bit like a concrete cylinder compression machine. Their theory was since they knew the "fracture strength" of diamonds, if it was fake it would break at a lower stress.

 

However, they put the raw diamond, with its irregular shape, right in their between two steel plates. They set the machine to a specific level of STRESS in MPa. Without knowing the contact area it would be impossible to input a stress which is force/area. They could have put in a force like you do in a concrete machine in pounds/kg, but that still would not prove anything without knowing the area of the diamond. Needless to say the thing shattered at 8 Mpa or something so they "knew" it was fake, since they said a diamond is around 10-11 Mpa.

 

Well I just checked that on my calculator, and my math may be off, but 11 MPa = 1595 psi.... Something tells me a diamond has a bit higher compressive strength than that.

 

Andrew Kester, PE
ADK Structural Engineering, PLLC
Lake Mary, FL

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