Can you make gold in a nuclear reactor?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by MCP, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. MCP Registered Member

    And is it commercially viable? I'm guessing the 2nd answer is no...
  2. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    Yes...radioactive gold.
  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    It's not commercially viable.
  4. alain du hast mich Registered Senior Member

    The small numbered elements on the periodic table (ie gold) aren't really prone to radiation, unlike the higher numbered elements such as plutonium
  5. G. F. Schleebenhorst England != UK Registered Senior Member

    Even if you could, gold would eventually become worthless. So not much point really.
  6. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    It is already quite worthless.
  7. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

    OK, it's worthless. Tell you what. I'll buy all of your Gold for 10 Euros/kilogram, a fair price for such a worthless commodity, OK? Any takers?
  8. sderenzi Banned Banned

    I seek to have gold in exchange for woman, LOL
  9. Kendall ......................... ..... Registered Senior Member

    It takes alot more than a neuclear reactor, tempature, pressure, energy I could only guess what else, the best theory I have heard is every element comes from hydrogen and the stars turn elements into other elements, The planets are piles of stardust. I read of scientist's who turned lead into gold but cost a fortune, you would have to create the enviroment of the inside of a star and control it!
  10. pilpaX Registered Senior Member

    isnt that called nuclear fusion?
  11. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

    Yes, and for that you'd need a nuclear fusion reactor.
    At this stage all are experimental.
    The first of the commercial type would be the international ITER project/reactor.

    All the current nuclear power plants use nuclear fission.
  12. cato less hate, more science Registered Senior Member

    also, I imagine that ITER would still cost more to produce gold than getting it out of the ground.
  13. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

    Yes, I too imagine that.
  14. weed_eater_guy It ain't broke, don't fix it! Registered Senior Member

    but if someone did produce gold commercially and was succesful, it would loose value, but would still be a very good non-corrosive metal for industrial and other applications. it's also almost as good a conductor as silver if i remember right, better than steal or copper. ever wonder why premium A/V cabling has a gold tint to the metal on the plugs?

    but yeah, the value would drop, meaning whoever produced it woudl have to constantly make their operation more efficient, by like several hundred percent. maybe it could be done, but it is fusion after all.

    and now that I think about it... fusion doesn't make gold like you think it does. once a star fuses iron, it suddenly takes more energy to make fusion happen than will come out of it. period. when iron forms in a star, it's a very small matter of time (minutes) before it supernovas. however, the massive supernova explosion smashes enough to gether to make elements heavier than iron, including lead, uranium, and GOLD. You wouldn't have to replicate the inside of a star, you'd have to replicate the inside of a supernova, the most devistating naturally occuring explosive force mankind is aware of!

    entreprenuers, get to it!
  15. mountainhare Banned Banned

    Reminds me of that Superman episode from the 1950's, where the crooks force that guy to make gold with his new invention. And it turns out that more money is used to make the gold, then you can sell it for on the market!

  16. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

    Of course, you can make radioactive gold quite easily by neutron irradiation of other elements. That's done all the time. Check out the Gold "Flood Sources" used in nuclear medicine for quality control of the gamma cameras.
  17. Kendall ......................... ..... Registered Senior Member

    what is the difference between neuclear fusion and neuclear fission?
  18. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

    Kendall: Why not go to a dictionary and look it up. Or an encyclopedia. Or Wikipedia.
  19. Maast AF E-7 Retired Registered Senior Member

    Fission, atoms are broken apart by high energy neutrons, in uranium and up the periodic table (transuranic elements) the breaking apart of the atom releases energy and more neutrons, which go on to break apart more atoms.

    Fusion: atoms are fused together releasing energy and making elements higher up in the periodic table up to iron where it takes more energy to fuse iron atoms than it releases. Example, 2 hydrogen atoms fuse together to make a helium atom, 2 heliums together make beryllium (I think, might be lithium) etc
  20. TimeTraveler Immortalist Registered Senior Member


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