Gold (Au) is a chemical element of the periodic table, located in the group 11 and the period 6, and is having the atomic number 79. It is a soft, lustrous, ductile, malleable, metallic yellow transition metal, whose name comes from the Latin word “aurum”, which means gold. It is counted as one of the least reactive chemical elements.
Gold on periodic table
|– d block|
Gold is a d-block element, situated in the eleventh column and the sixth row of the periodic table. Its atomic number is 79 and its symbol is Au.
Gold element information
|Gold is found in the eleventh column of the periodic table, next to the platinum element.|
|Origin of name||Latin word “aurum” (which means gold)|
|Atomic number (Z)||79|
|Atomic mass||196.96657 u|
|Atomic radius||144 pm|
|Covalent radius||136±6 pm|
|Van der Waals radius||166 pm|
|Melting point||1064.18 ℃, 1947.52 ℉, 1337.33 K|
|Boiling point||2970 ℃, 5378 ℉, 3243 K|
|Electron configuration||[Xe] 4f14 5d10 6s1|
|Electrons per shell||2, 8, 18, 32, 18, 1|
|Learn how to draw: Gold Bohr model|
|Crystal structure||Face-centered cubic (fcc)|
|Phase at r.t||Solid|
|Density near r.t||19.3 g/cm3|
|Oxidation state||+1, +3|
|Electronegativity (Pauling scale)||2.54|
|Learn how to find: Gold protons neutrons electrons|
|Discovered by||Ancient Egyptians|
History of gold
Gold has a rich and fascinating history, dating back thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians were one of the first civilizations to use gold, which they obtained from Nubia, a region located in present-day Sudan. They used gold to create jewelry, religious artifacts, and burial masks for their pharaohs.
In ancient Rome, gold was used as currency and was highly prized by the wealthy. Gold coins were minted in large quantities, and the Roman Empire’s extensive trade networks allowed gold to become a widely accepted form of payment throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
During the Middle Ages, gold was used to adorn religious objects and buildings, such as the Golden Altar in the Cathedral of Pisa. Gold was also used in medicine, as it was believed to have healing properties.
The discovery of gold in the Americas in the 16th century led to a massive influx of the metal into Europe. The Spanish conquistadors plundered the Aztec and Inca empires for their gold, which was then used to finance wars and build palaces and other lavish structures.
In the 19th century, the California Gold Rush led to a massive increase in gold mining and production. This period saw the development of new mining techniques, such as hydraulic mining, which allowed for the extraction of large amounts of gold from the earth.
Occurrence and production
Gold is a relatively rare element, with an average concentration of about 0.005 parts per million (ppm) in the Earth’s crust. The majority of gold is found in the form of veins and deposits within rocks, often near other metal deposits such as copper and silver. The largest gold deposits are found in South Africa, which is responsible for nearly 40% of global production. Other major gold-producing countries include Australia, China, Russia, and the United States.
Gold is typically extracted from ore through a combination of crushing, grinding, and chemical processes. The most common method of extraction is cyanide leaching, which involves using a cyanide solution to dissolve the gold from the ore. Other methods include gravity separation, flotation, and carbon-in-pulp processing.
The production of gold has increased significantly over the past century, with global production rising from around 1,000 tonnes in 1900 to over 3,000 tonnes in 2020. The majority of gold produced today is used in the jewelry industry, with other major uses including investment, electronics, and coinage. The demand for gold is expected to continue to grow, particularly in emerging markets such as China and India. However, concerns over the environmental and social impacts of gold mining have led to efforts to promote more sustainable and responsible practices in the industry.
Properties of gold
It is a soft, dense, yellow metal with a lustrous and attractive appearance.
Its density is 19.3 g/cm3, making it one of the densest elements in the periodic table.
The melting point of gold is 1064.18 ℃, and its boiling point is 2970 ℃.
One of the unique properties of gold is its excellent conductivity. Gold is one of the best conductors of electricity and is widely used in electronics, including in microchips and other electronic components.
Its malleability and ductility also make it highly useful in various applications, such as jewelry-making and dentistry.
Gold can be easily shaped into different forms without breaking, and it can be drawn into thin wires without breaking, making it a versatile material for many different applications.
In addition to its physical properties, gold is also highly resistant to corrosion and oxidation.
It does not react with most other elements or compounds, making it a stable and long-lasting material for many different applications.
Gold is also non-toxic, which makes it suitable for use in medical applications, such as in dental fillings or implants.
Uses of gold
Gold is widely used in jewelry due to its luster, rarity, and malleability.
Gold is considered a safe-haven investment, and is often used to hedge against inflation and economic instability.
Gold is an excellent conductor of electricity and is used in a variety of electronic devices, such as cell phones, computers, and televisions.
Gold nanoparticles are being investigated for their potential use in drug delivery and cancer treatment.
Gold-coated film is used in spacecraft to reflect and dissipate heat, and gold-plated connectors are used in critical components of spacecraft and satellites.
Gold has been used as a currency throughout history, and is still used in some countries as a store of value.
Gold is used in dental work due to its biocompatibility and resistance to corrosion.
Gold nanoparticles are being developed for a range of nanotechnology applications, such as sensors, imaging, and catalysis. The unique properties of gold nanoparticles make them particularly useful in these areas.
Gold leaf and gold paint have been used for centuries in art, particularly in religious paintings and sculptures.
Gold medals and trophies are often given as awards in recognition of achievement, such as in the Olympics or other competitions.
Gold is often used in luxury goods, such as watches, pens, and other accessories, due to its perceived value and prestige.
Gold leaf is sometimes used in food and drink, particularly in desserts and alcoholic beverages, to add a decorative element.
Gold is used in glassmaking to create red or purple colors, as well as to create a mirror-like effect.
Gold is an effective material for shielding against radiation, and is used in a range of applications where radiation protection is required, such as in medical imaging and nuclear power plants.
Gold is used in the automotive industry to make catalytic converters, which help to reduce emissions from vehicles.
Interesting facts about gold
Gold is one of the least reactive chemical elements, making it highly resistant to corrosion and tarnishing.
The word “gold” comes from the Old English word “geolu,” which means yellow.
Gold is one of the rarest elements in the Earth’s crust, with an average concentration of about 0.005 parts per million.
Gold is a very ductile metal, which means it can be drawn into very thin wires. In fact, a single ounce of gold can be stretched into a wire that is 50 miles long.
Gold is often used in jewelry because of its beauty and rarity, but it also has many industrial uses. For example, it is used in electronics, dentistry, and aerospace technology.
The largest gold nugget ever found weighed over 200 pounds and was discovered in Australia in 1869.
Gold has been used as a currency for thousands of years and is still used today as a store of value and a hedge against inflation.
Gold is believed to have been formed by supernova explosions billions of years ago, which scattered the element throughout the universe.
Gold is non-toxic and has been used in medicine for centuries to treat conditions like arthritis and cancer.
Gold is a good conductor of electricity and is often used in electrical contacts and switches.