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HOW TO MELT AND MOLD GOLD AT ROOM TEMPERATURE

Gold is one of the expensive metallic element known to exist on the surface of the earth. It has very high resistance to corrosion and rust. While other metals react easily to the presence of oxygen in the atmosphere, gold doesn’t.

The mining and processing of gold remain a vital industrial action based on the fact that it requires a professional hand and special experience. Gold’s outer layers (surface) becomes brighter and stronger when heated on the fire. Blacksmiths had been a long time professionals known for the handling of gold materials and their renewal process.

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The work of a blacksmith could be melting and remolding of gold, filling of broken parts of a gold jewelry, alloying some jewelry with gold, and/or electroplating the outer layers of the jewelry and other accessories with pure gold, among other special services.

According to the report made by the Chalmers University of Technology, Ludvig de Knoop at Department of physics once placed a small piece of gold in an electron microscope. The influence such experiment could reveal about gold atoms could be the aim of Ludvig. While observing it at the highest level of magnification and increasing the electric field step-by-step to extremely high levels, the influence it has on the gold atoms was discovered.

The experiment revealed that the surface layers of the gold were melting at the room temperature even when the reaction seems unnoticed to normal human eyes vision. At the micro-level, the gold atoms were moving freely and ready to be moved, in other words, the gold could be melted completely using the method but it has to be a slow and steady action.

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The new discovery about gold is stunning and came as a surprise to Ludvig who saw the reactions and the influence the system had on the gold atoms. The excited state of the gold atoms under the influence of electric field made them to suddenly lose their ordered structure and released almost all their connections to each other. According to the report, it was an extra ordinary phenomenon and reveals a new knowledge of gold.

The discovery made it possible to know that it will be possible to switch between a solid and a molten structure of gold while at the room temperature. It is a groundbreaking discovery scientifically that is capable of turning the entire ways gold is being processed at both the industrial level and local gold level.  The discovery of how gold atoms can lose their structure in this way is not just spectacular but a reality.

The results of the experiment were published in the Journal Physical Review materials. Ludvig and colleagues together with the theoretician Mikael Juhani Kuisma from the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland, have opened up new avenues in materials science.

Based on the theoretical calculations, the researchers are able to suggest why the gold melted at room temperature and that has to do with the formation of defects in the surface layers.

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The discovery is connected to the research field of topology, where pioneers David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz received the Nobel Prize in physics 2016. With Mikael Juhani Kuisma in the lead, based on the possibility that the melting can also be seen as a so-called low-dimensional phase transition. The researchers are now looking into that possibility. In any case, the ability to melt surface layers of gold in this manner enables various novel practical applications in the future.

 

According to Eva Olsson, a professor at the department of physics at Chalmers, “there could also be opportunities for new concepts for contactless components because we can control and change the properties of the surface atom layers, it opens doors for different kinds of applications. For instance, the technology could be used in different types of sensors, catalysts, and transistors.”

While goldsmiths still retain their usual practice of melting gold, the new discovery will be for those with the necessary apparatus such as the electron microscope.

Originally posted 2018-12-02 01:33:26.

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