Chemical Elements History and Information Gold

About the chemical element Gold, its symbol, atomic number and weight, who discovered it and when.

The Atomic Elements and Their Uses

(Element) (Symbol) (Atomic number) (Atomic weight)

Gold Au 79 196.9665

Known since prehistoric times. Some 70 million tons of gold are in solution in the ocean, and perhaps another 10 billion tons of gold lie irretrievable on the ocean floors. Gold is one of the heaviest and most indestructible metals. It is also the most ductile and malleable metal and can be pressed into films less than 1/200,000 in. thick. A cubic inch of gold can be drawn into a continuous wire 43 mi. long or beaten to form a film capable of covering 1,400 sq. ft.--so thin that light passes through it. Because of these properties, more than 30 tons of gold are used each year in electronics to make components, diode plugs, printed circuits, etc. These electroplated applications are less than .00005 in. thick. The elements most commonly alloyed with gold are copper, silver, zinc, and nickel, in that order. Gold serves many medical purposes. Gold salts are sometimes injected into the muscles to relieve arthritis, gold leaf is used as a surgical dressing because it adheres so well to the shape and depressions of tissues, and gold dental fillings are extremely long-lasting.

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