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Nature & Science

All You Need To Know About Gold And Its Real Role In Science & Human Life

Image Source: Phawat / Shutterstock

Gold has been highly coveted for its appearance since ancient times and has become a universal symbol of wealth and success. This precious metal holds its value regardless of economic fluctuations, but its worth extends far beyond jewelry in various scientific fields such as electronics, space exploration, and healthcare. Gold is an invaluable asset for scientific research and development.

How Did Gold Make it To Earth?

The presence of gold on Earth can be attributed to meteorites that arrived approximately 200 million years after the planet’s formation. These meteorites brought with them valuable metals from 22 billion tons of asteroidal rock, which were distributed across the globe. Many industries today rely on the extraction of these precious metals from the Earth.

The Power of Gold

Gold possesses unique properties that make it highly useful. It is both malleable and ductile, meaning it can be pounded into thin sheets, shaped into various forms, and drawn into thin wires without breaking. In the field of electronics and computing, gold is used to coat connectors because it conducts electricity well and provides protection against heat and wear.

A Little Goes a Long Way

Despite gold being relatively rare compared to other elements, even small quantities play a significant role in improving our lives. Gold nanoparticles, measuring billionths of a meter, are used as highly sensitive detectors in chemical tests. For instance, a team in Quebec developed an artificial tongue using gold nanoparticles that change color based on the quality of maple syrup being tested. This “tongue” helps distinguish between high-quality and low-quality syrup products.

In a Nutshell

While we are accustomed to associating gold with jewelry, its applications extend to various industries, which will only further increase its value beyond a mere display of wealth. Though its scarcity poses challenges in the short term, advancements in mining techniques may lead to breakthroughs in gold exploration in the near future.

Image Source: Phawat / Shutterstock

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