PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Nuclear fusion to make gold (5 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 & copper nuclei have collided & fused to make a radon nucleus (86 protons). The radon nucleus is unstable & is becoming distorted as it begins to split up (fission). A gold nucleus may be formed as this nucleus splits. Image produced at the Large Heavy Ion Accelerator (GANIL) facility, Caen, France. A130/019 to A130/022, & A130/024).
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