PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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. A130/019 & A130/021 to A130/024).
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