With a sharp focus since a child, this physicist was the first to carve a synthetic diamond!!!

Howard Tracy Hall (October 20, 1919 – July 25, 2008) was an American physical chemist, and the first person who grew a synthetic diamond according to a reproducible, verifiable and witnessed process, using a press of his own design. Tracy Hall was born in Ogden, Utah in 1920. His full name was Howard Tracy Hall, but he often used the name H. Tracy Hall or, simply, Tracy Hall. Tracy grew up on a farm in Marriott, Utah. When still in the fourth grade, he announced his intention to work for General Electric. He attended Weber College for two years, and married Ida-Rose Langford in 1941. He went to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, where he received his B. S. degree in 1942 and an M. S. in the following year.

For the next two years, he served as an ensign in the U. S. Navy. He returned to the University of Utah in 1946, where he was Henry Eyring’s first graduate student. and was awarded his Ph. D. in physical chemistry in 1948. Two months later he realized his childhood dream by starting work at the General Electric Research Laboratory in Schenectady, New York. He joined a team focused on synthetic diamond making, code named “Project Superpressure” headed by an engineer, Anthony Nerad.

Synthetic diamond (also known as laboratory-created diamond, laboratory-grown diamond, cultured diamond or cultivated diamond) is diamond produced in an artificial process, as opposed to natural diamonds, which are created by geological processes. Synthetic diamond is also widely known as HPHT diamond or CVD diamond after the two common production methods (referring to the high-pressure high-temperature and chemical vapor deposition crystal formation methods, respectively). Read more…

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