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Scientists Create Compound With a Single Element 163

rocketman768 writes "An international team of researchers including scientists at the Carnegie Institution has discovered a new chemical compound that consists of a single element: boron. Chemical compounds are conventionally defined as substances consist of two or more elements, but the researchers found that at high pressure and temperature pure boron can assume two distinct forms that bond together to create a novel 'compound' called boron boride."
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Scientists Create Compound With a Single Element

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  • Eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dyinobal ( 1427207 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @10:13PM (#26732583)
    I think my head just exploded. Compound, of one element. What next transparent aluminum?
  • by snowgirl ( 978879 ) * on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @10:24PM (#26732663) Journal

    Why is this not an allotrope [wikipedia.org]? I'm not a chemist so excuse me if the answer seems obvious to those with a better understanding.

    That's exactly what I was wondering. The title made me wonder "what? graphite? diamonds?"

  • Puzzled.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by UPZ ( 947916 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @10:28PM (#26732681)
    Whats the difference between that, and say, N2 or O2? Aren't those also compounds of a single element?
  • by NotSoHeavyD3 ( 1400425 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @01:28AM (#26733987)
    Oh no doubt of course. I mean they teach you that in chem 101 and that reaction go in one direction for example. Then in chem 102 they start teaching you about how the reactions actually go in 2 direction and don't really stop but hit equalibrium. Of course in orgo they start telling you how what they originally showed to you a compound with distinct single and double bounds really isn't like that and it's sort of a mixed bond. (I mean benzene for example. The first version they might show you has alternating single and double bonds. In reality all the bonds are of the same length and the bonds are actually an intermediary between single and double bonds.) Oh well, just more having fun with chemistry.
  • Actually no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Giant Electronic Bra ( 1229876 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @10:41AM (#26736903)

    In a crystal of table salt there are no molecules. No one Na+ is associated with any one given Cl-. The crystal is made up of alternating Na and Cl atoms, sort of like a checkerboard.

    Highly ionic crystalline solids are compounds, but not composed of molecules, and in fact NaCl is NEVER a molecule. In aqueous solution it dissociates entirely. If you melt it you still have a situation where the various atoms move freely in the now liquid substance.

    Very few highly ionic substances, salts, even CAN be vaporized. They are so polar that at the extreme temperatures required you basically just tear atoms off the stuff and end up with a big cloud of ions.

    In a sense you could think of a crystal of salt as a single large macromolecule. Diamond would be an example of a somewhat similar covalently bonded structure.

  • by snowgirl ( 978879 ) * on Thursday February 05, 2009 @03:09PM (#26741957) Journal

    From TFA, actually, Boron Boride is composed of two separate molecules, both of which are allotropes.

    So, it's not really BB, but B2B7 or so... I'm less interested in reading TFA again, but you should be able to look it up yourself.

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson