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Experimental Researches in Chemistry and Physics/Combustion of the diamond

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Combustion of the Diamond[1].

Sir H. Davy was the first to show that the diamond was capable of supporting its own combustion in oxygen without the continued application of extraneous heat, and he thus obviated one of the anomalies exhibited by this body when compared with charcoal. This phenomenon, though rarely observed, is easily exhibited. If the diamond, supported in the perforated cup, be fixed at the end of a jet, so that a stream of hydrogen can be thrown on to it, it is easy, by inflaming the jet, to heat the gem, and whilst in that state to introduce it into a globe or flask containing oxygen. On turning off the hydrogen the diamond enters into combustion, and will remain burning until nearly consumed. The loss of weight in the diamond, the formation of carbonic acid, and the actual combustion are thus very easily shown.

  1. Quarterly Journal of Science, iv. 155.