Bombarding gases with microwaves in a reactor is one way to create diamond crystals with a wide variety of industrial uses. Diamonds are superior conductors of heat and sound, resistant to abrasion, as slick as Teflon, and they can be used to conduct electricity at high voltages. This note, reprinted by permission from The New York Times of 21 Feb. 1990, discusses the making of diamond coatings.

© 1990 Optical Society of America

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