'Twilight' Might Have It Right: Science Supports Sparkling Vampires
Anyone who has seen (or was forced to see) the first "Twilight" film remembers this scene: Edward takes Bella to a beam of light shooting down between the trees in the forest.
In a dramatic attempt to show her why he, and vampires in general, avoid the sunlight, Edward unbuttons his shirt and steps into the light. "You're beautiful," says Bella as she observes his sparkling, diamond body.
Whether you groaned or gushed at that scene, scientists may have found some truth in Edward's claims.
It seems, if vampires are truly made from diamonds (or ... are real in general), they might have a good reason to stay out of the sunlight, as io9 first reported.
"Once upon a time, a team of scientists were working to develop new and exciting lasers. Their lasers were diamond-based. They had many successes until they started working with a laser that shot ultraviolet light. It worked well at first, but sputtered out after about ten minutes. No matter what they did, they couldn't make the laser last. After some investigation, they found out that the laser died because it was dissolving the diamond."
It turns out, as the article reports, hyper-concentrated amounts of UV rays desorb diamonds, or "[pop] the carbon atoms." However, as an article from Nature News pointed out, how the process technically works is still unknown.
"Exactly how the desorption process works is still to be determined, but [physicist Rich] Mildren has a couple of theories, published this week in Optical Materials Express. The first hint is that the process requires a diamond surface covered with oxygen atoms. The second is that it requires two photons to release one carbon atom. When two photons hit a diamond, they produce an exciton, an excited electron-hole pair, inside the diamond that can diffuse through to the surface, where it could set a carbon atom free."
No matter the process, the result still begs the question: Is this why vampires like the movies' famous Cullen family avoid the light? Would they literally disappear? Perhaps the next film in the series, "Breaking Dawn," will provide some answers.
Watch Edward Cullen Reveal His Diamond Skin: