This rather attractive rock fragment has a lot of scientists talking this week. According to their tests, it is a previously unidentified natural quasicrystal that came to Earth riding on a meteorite some 4.5 billion years ago. They believe it is composed of the original material from the formation of our planetary system. For creationists who believe the Earth is only 5000 years old, it is a shiny rock in the office of a professor who can’t do math.
Here is the really cool part: until now, all quasicrystals (so named are arranged in a quasi-regular pattern rather than a regular arrangement of atoms in a crystal) could not occur in nature and were only found in synthetic crystal. Then this thing plopped on the desk of researcher Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University and his colleagues.
It was found in the Koryak Mountains of Russia and contains metallic copper and aluminum. It has the signature elements of a carbonaceous chondrites and is believed to be part of a primitive meteorite that made from the remnants as the original building blocks of planets.
This is why I am always so jealous of my colleagues over in the science departments. The biggest discovery a law professor can make is a footnote that was previously overlooked by colleagues reading some obscure case on diversity jurisdiction.
Source: Live Science