In the “Atoms In Motion” introduction to Richard Feynman’s famous Lectures on Physics (which you can actually watch, thanks to Microsoft), there’s a very interesting footnote. I saw it in the condensed and immensely enjoyable Six Easy Pieces, which everyone should read:
“One can burn a diamond in air”
That took me by surprise. But it’s true! The video above from Theodore Gray (who is really good at burning stuff) shows that diamond will ignite if brought to a certain temperature and given enough oxygen to latch on to. Like Feynman said, those carbon atoms and oxygen atoms love each other, and want to snap together (which gives off heat), but enough input energy must be applied first to break down the diamond crystal, (which also makes carbon atoms pretty happy).
Interesting note about cheap old zirconium in there, too …
(tip of the torch to Freelance Astrophysicist, where I found the video)