The Origins of Gold and Why Gold is Rare?

The rarity of gold is what gives it its status as a precious and valuable metal. All the gold that has been mined over time would fit in a rectangular box measuring around 20m by 20m. This is not due to a failure of miner to find more. It is rare in the Universe as gold, which has a relatively heavy atom consisting of 79 prototons and 118 neutrons, is a very rare atom. It is difficult to make, even with the immense heat and pressure created by supernovae (the deaths of giant stars that are responsible for most chemical elements),

Supernovae are capable of doing the job. Recent research suggests that more violent events such as collisions between neutron star – the super-dense cores from dead stars – may be required. It’s no wonder that the stuff is so costly.

In a Galaxy, Far, Far, Away.

Two neutron stars circling one another in a dance of inevitable destruction and creation were seen in a distant galaxy. These objects were likely remnants of supernovae that had long ago become massive stars. Each object was enormous, and their neutrons were so tightly packed that they became diamonds in their cores. Unfortunately, the dance could not continue forever. The stars collided, unleashing unimaginable energy, and sending gravitational waves through the fabric space-time.

These waves were detected by astronomers using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory in 2017, nearly 1.3 billion years after their discovery. Albert Einstein predicted that the universe would be filled by faint ripples from gravity from large objects. Sources such as neutron-star mergers were also included in his prediction. However, this type of event has been difficult to find in space-time. The media was eager to learn more about what happens when neutron star collide, after the news of gravitational waves being detected. Astronomers explained that these events not only cause the destruction of stars and ripples in space but also produce all the heavy elements that we can see in a blink of an eye. What did the media miss? This gold comes from outer space.

A Universal History

It’s not surprising that of the many elements formed in the cataclysmic destruction of massive stars, gold should be the one that captures our imaginations the most. Elements necessary for life, such as carbon, oxygen, potassium, and sulfur, should rank higher on a list of favorites. But we have an emotional connection with gold.

Thousands of years ago, someone may have seen a shiny object in a stream and picked up a piece of gold. It must have looked intriguing — though, because the metal is so soft, it’s not very useful. Archaeologists have found a 6,500-year-old gold bead in Bulgaria and recovered a nearly 3,000-year-old gold coin from the Black Sea. The oldest known gold artifacts in England were found buried at Stonehenge, part of the grave goods belonging to a mysterious individual from Europe.

The ancient Egyptians owned vast gold mines south of their capital, Thebes. This allowed them to insulate the mummy Tutankhamun with the precious metal. Only a few other ancient civilizations have such wealth. Archaeologists discovered two daggers in the mummy’s unwrapped state. The first was made from meteoritic iron and the second was pure gold.

Although gold was valued, it was only used for decoration and trade purposes. It was rare and desirable because of its rarity. Also, its inexplicable nature made it attractive: Gold never changes, unlike silver that turns black, copper which goes green, or iron, that rusts. It is a gift from Gods that seems to be eternal.

This mystery was solved by science in the 20th century. Reactions with oxygen can cause iron, silver, or copper to rust, or change colors. Oxygen is always in search of electrons. Iron will lose two to three electrons to oxygen, and will oxidize (rust). Oxygen can also cause other elements to oxidize. Not gold. Because it doesn’t share electrons or oxygen, it is the least reactive of all metals.

Heavy Elements

There isn’t much gold, just like all the heavy elements in the periodic table. It would be approximately 70 feet (21.3m) long if all of the gold that has been mined during human history could be rolled into one cube. This would amount to 183,000 tonnes of gold. Although it sounds like a lot, if it were to melt, it would be enough to fill three and a quarter Olympic-sized swimming pools. Barrick Gold Corporation’s Nevada mines processed millions of tonnes of ore in 2018 to recover just 4,000,000 ounces (125 tonnes) of gold.

It is so densely and heavy that most of Earth’s earth’s gold has sunk to the core. Bernard Wood, an Australian geologist, estimates that 99 percent is hidden thousands of miles below our feet. Wood also estimated that the core contains 1.6 quadrillion tonnes of gold. Wood estimates that all of this gold would, if brought to surface, form a layer 16 inches (40.6 cm) thick. This is a small amount of gold compared to the Earth’s entire size. The core of our planet contains six times more platinum than the surface. It actually has about one part per million gold. In fact, gold is very rare.

Sun of Gold

One night in 1859, Gustav Kirchhoff and Robert Bunsen, chemists, saw a flame in Mannheim, Germany. It was about 10 miles (16km) from their Heidelberg University laboratory. The new improved spectroscope, which breaks down light into component wavelengths and allows for chemical elements to identified, was rolled to the window by Bunsen and Kirchhoff. They quickly found the elements strontium and barium in the bright glow from the flames. Bunsen stated that the same method of analysis should be applied to the atmospheres surrounding the Sun and bright stars. This powerful tool was used in a flurry of discoveries during the second half of 19th century.

Numerous astronomers used spectroscopy to detect helium, which was discovered by spectroscopy during the August 1868 total solar eclipse. All the heavier elements on the periodic table, including iron and carbon, were finally found in a gaseous form in the Sun’s atmosphere.

Rock and mineral collection became the science and art of geology in the late 18th century and early 19th century. Charles Lyell, James Hutton and Mary Anning, a great fossil collector, proved that Earth is much older than the 6,000-years suggested by contemporary theologians. Lyell and Hutton believed Earth to be millions, if not billions of years old. What could possibly keep the stars and Sun shining for so long if this were true?

Julius Robert Mayer, a German physicist, strongly supported the meteoric theory for solar heat. He calculated that the Sun could shine for only 5,500 years if it had no external source of energy. He suggested that the Sun was powered by billions upon billions of meteorites falling on it. This provided its energy. This material, it is alleged, also would have provided heavy elements for our star.

One night in 1859, Gustav Kirchhoff and Robert Bunsen, chemists, saw a flame in Mannheim, Germany. It was about 10 miles (16km) from their Heidelberg University laboratory. The spectroscope, which they had invented breaks down light into component wavelengths and allows for chemical elements to be identified, was rolled to the window by Bunsen and Kirchhoff. They quickly found the elements strontium and barium in the bright glow from the flames. Bunsen stated that the same method of analysis should be applied to the atmospheres surrounding the Sun and bright stars. This powerful tool was used to make a lot of discoveries in the second half of 19th century.

Numerous spectroscopists discovered helium, which was the second most abundant element in the universe, during the August 1868 total solar eclipse. All the heavier elements on the periodic table, including iron and carbon, were finally found in a gaseous form in the Sun’s atmosphere.

Rock and mineral collection became the science and art of geology in the late 18th century and early 19th centuries. Charles Lyell, James Hutton and Mary Anning, a great fossil collector, proved that Earth is much older than the 6,000-years suggested by contemporary theologians. Lyell and Hutton believed Earth to be millions, if not billions, of years old. What could possibly keep the stars and Sun shining for so long if this were true?

Julius Robert Mayer, a German physicist, strongly supported the meteoric theory for solar heat. He calculated that the Sun could shine for only 5,500 years if it had no external source of energy. He suggested that the Sun was powered by billions upon billions of meteorites falling on it. This provided its energy. This material, it is alleged, also would have provided heavy elements for our star.

The Science if Gold

Alchemists have struggled for more than a millennium to transform one element into the next. They searched for the philosopher’s rock, which could transform base metals such as lead and mercury into precious metals like gold. The idea of transmutation fascinated even Isaac Newton. Some historians call him “the last great alchemist.” However, the immense forces of nature that create the elements were far beyond the reach of early experimenters.

With the 1905 publication of Einstein’s special theory on relativity, the origins of heavy metals became more apparent. The seminal work in which the equation E=mc 2 was first published. Although it wasn’t immediately obvious how crucial this equation was for our understanding of the universe’s structure, its application to the Sun’s enormous energy output would have profound implications. It not only explained why stars like the Sun could shine for billions upon years but also showed how elements heavier than hydrogen are formed.

We all remember the first atomic bomb, splitting atoms and nuclear fission. 2 This is what comes to my mind. Sir Arthur Eddington, then working at Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, England, believed that the fusion of hydrogen and helium could become the Sun’s powerhouse in 1920. Einstein’s famous equation demonstrated that such a process would release incredible energy.

Hans Bethe, a German-American physicist, described the famous proton-proton reaction. This is how hydrogen fused into helium almost two decades after Eddington and other fusion researchers began exploring it. A vast, fast-moving soup of hydrogen atoms is deep within the Sun. Each proton and electron is in constant motion. The electromagnetic force repels most collisions. It is possible to feel the repulsion by sticking similar poles from two magnets together. However, protons can fuse when they collide. Helium-4 is formed when four protons fuse together, and this releases energy that makes the Sun shine.

The Sun has enough hydrogen to allow this fusion process to continue for 5 billion more years. The final products of carbon and nitrogen will be formed when helium begins to fuse. 8. Elements beyond oxygen can fuse in more massive stars with stronger gravity, which creates more heat and pressure. This process can only continue until iron (element No. 26) forms. 26) forms in the middle of giant stars. This is when fusion stops. The star’s core will eventually collapse, and then rebound in supernova explosions.

One of two neutron capture reactions occurs when outer layers of the star explode into space. Both of these reactions see free neutrons penetrate nearby atom nuclei and are “captured by elements” during the explosion. Slow neutron capture, which is called “slow” due to radioactive decay into other elements that can occur before other neutrons can be captured, creates approximately half the elements heavier than iron. There are still a lot more heavyweights in the periodic table. You need large colliding stars capable of rapid neutron capture to make the rest.

After astronomers had identified the source of 2017 gravitational wave, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy discovered strontium in the maelstrom matter expanding into space at almost 30 percent of the speed of light. The rapid neutron capture reaction formed this element, and many others. These stars combined to send 1022 neutrons free through 1 cubic centimeter space per second.

This high neutron density creates conditions which allow elements to rapidly capture neutrons. In a flash, you can see the formation of thorium and uranium as well as gold. They then travel into deep space. This has been repeated enough times over the 14-billion year life span of the universe to seed the nebulae which eventually collapse to create solar systems like ours with gold and all other heavy elements.

The Gold Standard

Our lives are dominated by gold. Every cellphone and computer has this element. It is used to coat astronaut visors and sunglasses. It is used in electronics as well as clothing. Gold is used to pay nations’ debts. It is used to make jewelry and religious artifacts. Gold is used to make toilets and put in our teeth. To relieve rheumatoid, doctors inject patients with gold. Even chocolate coated in gold can be eaten.

Carl Sagan once said that we are made of the stuff stars. The world around us is also made from stars. Remember that the stars gave you the gold necklace around your neck and the gold ring on the finger of your finger.