Chinese Scientists Turn Copper into ‘Gold’

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A team of Chinese scientists has managed to turn cheap copper into a new material which is nearly identical to gold, according to a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances.

The authors of the study explained that the new material will significantly reduce the use of rare, expensive metals in factories.

According to researchers, the new material can resist high temperatures, oxidization, and erosion.

It is “like a warrior with golden armor in a battlefield, capable of withstanding any enemy assault,” scientists explained.

 





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In order to turn ‘Copper into Gold’, Professor Sun Jian and fellow researchers at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Liaoning, shot a copper target with a jet of hot, electrically charged argon gas.

By doing so, the fast-moving ionized particles blasted the copper atoms off the material.

Once the atoms cooled down and condensed on the surface of a device used to collect them, they produced a small, thin layer of sand.

Each and every grain of sand produced had a diameter of a few nanometers or a thousandth of the size of a bacterium.

Then, scientists proceeded in putting the material into a reaction chamber using it as a catalyst to turn coal to alcohol.
This is an extremely difficult and sophisticated chemical process that so far, only precious metals have been able to handle efficiently.

The copper nanoparticles “achieved catalytic performance extremely similar to that of gold or silver,” the team explained in a statement published on the academy’s website and reported in the South China Morning Post.

“The results… proved that after processing, metal copper can transform from ‘chicken’ to ‘phoenix.'”

But the new ‘gold-like’ substance will not be a cheap and easy way to become rich.

Copper and gold have a similar weight, which is why throughout the centuries, many alchemists saw copper as a gateway to quick riches.

But regrettably, as explained by experts, the new material can’t be sued to make fake gold since the material’s density remains the same as ordinary copper.

But despite the fact that people won’t be able to become super rich super-fast by turning copper into gold, the new material could prove lucrative for a number of industries according to researchers.

Most of our technology greatly rely on precious metals which are essential parts of a number of things.

Many electronic devices contain massive amounts of gold, silver, and platinum, among other elements.

In fact, if we were to look at the smartphone industry alone, experts estimate that around 40 smartphones can contain as much gold as a tone of ore.

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