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Overview         (For age - group : Above 16 )

Some of the parameters on the basis of which the valuation of Diamond is done are the cut , clarity and the fire it possess. How these parameters are determined by light and its properties can be understood by looking at science in a diamond. This animated science and technology topic demystifies sparkle and its dependence on cut through physics explanations. It is very useful for students and diamond industry professionals.

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Watch a free preview of this science  and technology animation
                                                                    

Physics of a diamond :
Category :
Science
Type : Animation
Duration : 9 minutes


Contents of the animation

  • What makes the diamond sparkle ?
  • Analyzing diamond
  • What causes the colorful sparkle in diamond ?
  • Significance of cut

Explanatory Notes contain :

  • Why does a diamond shine brilliantly ?
  • What are the design boundaries to be taken in consideration for a diamond ?
  • Why colored light is given out even though when the light entering is only white?
  • How can diamond be differentiated from its look alike Cubic zirconium?
  • How does cut of a diamond influence its sparkle ?
  • Complete Total internal reflection with critical angle explained through animation

Snapshots         
physics of diamond
Physics of diamond
Description of diamond and its facets
Description of diamond and its facets
Diamond - colorful sparkle of a diamond -how refraction and total internal reflection takes palce
Diamond - colorful sparkle of a diamond -how refraction and total internal reflection takes place
The cut of a diamond determines its shine
The cut of a diamond determines its shine
Details of the animation/ movie /software

Of the total amount of light that falls upon a material, part is returned or reflected ; the remainder penetrates into it, and crosses it or is absorbed by it. The reflected part of the light produces what is termed the " luster" of the material.

The diamonds used as gems are generally colorless or only faintly colored; it can be taken that all the light that passes into the stones passes out again. The luster of the diamond is peculiar to that gem, and is called adamantine for that reason. It is not found in any other gem, although zircon and demantoid or olivine have a luster approaching somewhat to the adamantine.

In gem stones of the same kind and of the same grade of polish, the luster only varies with the area of the gem stone exposed to the light, and that it is independent of the type of cut or of the proportions given to the gem (in so far as they do not affect the area)

Now a gem, not being in itself a source of light, cannot shine with other than reflected light. The maximum amount of light will be given off by the gem if the whole of the light that strikes it is reflected by the back of the gem, i.e. by that part hidden by the setting, and sent out into the air by its front part. The facets of the stone must therefore be so disposed that no light that enters it is let out through its back, but that it is wholly reflected. This result is obtained by having the facets inclined in such a way that all the light that strikes them does so at an angle of incidence greater than the critical angle.

The critical angle of diamond is 24 26'

In a diamond, the amount of light reflected from the surface is much smaller than that penetrating into the stone ; moreover, a diamond is practically perfectly transparent, so that all the light that passes into the stone has to pass out again.

If a gem is so cut or designed that every ray of light passing into it follows the best path possible for producing pleasing effects upon the eye, then the gem is perfectly cut.

The reason for a fire or colorful sparkle of a diamond

The greater the dispersion of a medium, other things being equal, the greater is the difference between the angles of refraction of the various colors, and the further separated do they become. It is to its very high dispersion, the greatest among all colorless gemstones that the diamond owes its extraordinary "fire".

When a ray of light passes through a well-cut diamond, it is refracted through a large angle, and consequently the colors of the spectrum, becoming widely separated, strike a spectators eye separately, so that at one moment one sees a ray of vivid blue, at another one of flaming scarlet or one of shining green, all these colors change incessantly with the slightest motion.

If you are still unclear about the concepts, please refer the animation below.

Besides the above details the animation file also contains the following in detail

  • Why does a diamond shine brilliantly ?
  • What are the design boundaries to be taken in consideration for a diamond ?
  • Why colored light is given out even though when the light entering is only white?
  • How can diamond be differentiated from its look alike Cubic zirconium?
  • How does cut of a diamond influence its sparkle ?
  • Complete Total internal reflection with critical angle explained through animation

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Q & A
Q1: If there is tension in diamond then suggest safest sawing,bruting and polishing techniques Nilesh 14/4/2010
Ans:
   
Q2: Why does diamond shine brilliantly? Abdul Zaman 13/7/2007
Ans: Due to dispersion and total internal reflection, please refer the explanation given in the Details section
   


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