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High pressure

High pressure science and engineering is studying the effects of high pressure on materials and the design and construction of devices, such as a diamond anvil cell, which can create high pressure. By high pressure it is meant pressures of thousands (kilobars) or millions (megabars) of times atmospheric pressure (about 1 bar).

It was by applying high pressure as well as high temperature to carbon that man-made diamonds were first produced as well as many other interesting discoveries. Almost any material when subjected to high pressure will compact itself into a denser form, for example, quartz, also called silica or silicon dioxide will first adopt a denser form known as coesite, then upon application of more temperature, form stishovite. These two forms of silica were first discovered by high pressure experimenters, but then found in nature at the site of a meteor impact.

High pressure experimentation has led to the discovery of the types of minerals which are believed to exist in core of the Earth, such as perovskite which is thought to make up half of the Earth's bulk.

High pressure food preservation

Main article: High pressure food preservation

High pressure isostatic presses are also being used for the treatment and preservation of food (juice, meat, seafood). The process is replacing pasteurization in high value, heat sensitive products successfully. Products treated with this method are sometimes designated as HPP (high pressure products).

Further reading

  • The New Alchemists: Breaking Through the Barriers of High Pressure, Robert M. Hazen, Times Books, Random House, 1993, hardcover, 286 pages, ISBN 0-8129-2275-1
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "High_pressure". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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