PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Nuclear fusion to make gold (4 of 6 images). Comp- uter simulation of the fusion of copper & lanthan- um nuclei to make gold. Each type of nucleus has a specific number of positively-charged particles (protons). Gold has 79 protons, lanthanum 57 & copper 29. The lanthanum and copper nuclei have collided & fused together to make a radon nucleus (86 protons) which has a temperature of 100 billi- on degrees Celsius. The radon nucleus is unstable & may form gold as it splits up (fissions). Image produced at the Large Heavy Ion Accelerator (GANIL) facility, Caen, France. A130/019 to A130/021, A130/023 & A130/024).
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