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A diamond is not forever

The professor of Chemistry José Ramón Isasi talked about the properties of some crystals and experimented with minerals at the Pamplona Planetarium.

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José Ramón Isasi, during his lecture.
PHOTO: Courtesy
20/06/14 10:16 Laura Latorre

The professor of Chemistry of the School of Sciences of the University of Navarra José Ramón Isasi offered a lecture in the Planetarium of Pamplona, on the occasion of the Year of Crystallography. In it he explained that a diamond is not forever but should be slowly transformed into graphite, and that there is a certain belief that stones have healing properties. "People think that stones heal, but the real therapeutic crystals are drugs," he said.  

The expert answered questions about the existence of some minerals or how crystals are formed. He pointed out that, despite the fact that subject sample has a tendency towards order, different configurations can be obtained from the same pieces, depending on the conditions of the environment.

Those attending the talk were able to witness experiments on spontaneous self-assembly of thumbtacks and straws on water; homemade, edible kryptonite prepared with sugar and vitamin B2; and instant stalagmites.

Dr. Isasi is a specialist in Chemistry physics of macromolecules and colloids and has done research on polymer blends, crystallization of polyolefins, adsorbent resins, encapsulation and self-assembled gels. He is currently a professor and director of department of Chemistry and Edaphology at the University of Navarra.