A nutty way to beat the credit crunch

DIAMONDS can apparently be conjured out of peanut butter – if you apply enough pressure.

Experts in high-pressure science will today tell an audience at Edinburgh International Science Festival that putting materials under pressure can give them new and interesting properties, such as transforming the carbohydrates in peanut butter into super-hard stones.

Edinburgh University scientists Professor Colin Pulham and Dr Jenny Rodgers will demonstrate a range of materials created under extreme conditions, such as ice with a melting point of more than 100C, new shapes of snowflakes and oxygen gas being squeezed until it forms red crystals.

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Prof Pulham said: "We hope to give the audience a flavour of this fascinating science, and illustrate its potential, not only for entertainment, but for creating new materials that are of real benefit to wider society."