Atomic nuclei colliding to form gold

Atomic nuclei colliding to form gold

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Credit: PHILIPPE PLAILLY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Nuclear fusion to make gold (2 of 6 images). Comp- uter simulation of the collision of lanthanum (right) & copper nuclei to make gold. Each type of nucleus has a specific number of positively- charged particles (protons) in it. Gold has 79 protons, lanthanum 57 & copper 29. The nuclei are colour-coded: blue areas are cool, whilst yellow and green areas are at 100 billion degrees Celsius. Researchers at the Large Heavy Ion Accelerator (GANIL) in Caen, France, are trying to get the nuclei close enough for them to take part in a nuclear fusion reaction which may form gold. (See also images A130/019 & A130/021 to A130/024).

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Keywords: atomic, computer graphic, copper-lanthanum collision, creation, fusion, fusion simul., fusn., ganil, gold production, lanthanum-copper collision, nuclear, nuclear fusn., nuclear reaction, nuclei, nucleus, particle collision, particle physics, radon nucleus, simulation

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