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Gold properties when it becomes very thin


#1

Sorry I cannot help Colleen with this but I was wondering if anyone
is interested in discussing what happens to gold properties when it
becomes very thin and very small. Thin gold layers on dishware and
cutlery certainly cannot be subject to abrasion, even dishwashers
put the gold at risk. How many atoms thin can gold like this get - or
can that be estimated? Perhaps electroplaters know.

My limited college chemistry tells me that metals like gold have
atoms which bond to one another. What is the chemistry term? "Ligand"
bonds? What happens if microgold is so small as to have all ligands
broken? Could this be the state of gold in the oceans - single atoms?
Philip Ball (The says there are 10 million tonnes of gold in sea
water (page 62). How much of that would consist of single atoms? In
that state is it a suspension or a solution? Some day that may even
have practical value. Ball tells us “various plants collect gold in
their tissues” (page 63) and he singles out leaf mustard as a good
example. How many sea weeds collect gold? And would the rule not
apply - the smaller the better?

Ball also says ruby-red glass is from microgold (page 75) but I am
puzzled by the gold-glass windows of the Royal Bank Tower in Toronto.
They appear to be coppery in colour rather than red do they not?
Anybody from Toronto here?