Get long URL
Alchemists have long struggled to create the legendary philosopher's stone capable, among other things, of turning basic metals into precious metals, and specifically into gold. Modern Chinese scientists seem to have finally come close to making such a transformation.
A group of Chinese scientists at the Institute of Chemical Physics in Dalian published a research in Science Advances, which describes how they turned ordinary copper into a "nearly identical" material to gold and silver. The metal, which the scientists obtained as a result of their experiment, was able to serve as a catalyst for an alcohol-producing reaction from coal – something only precious metals, such as gold, are capable of.
Researchers bombarded a piece of copper with a stream of hot, electrically charged argon gas. The process charges its atoms, making its electrons denser and more stable, making the resulting material closer to gold in terms of resistance to erosion, oxidation and high temperatures.
The study points out that new cheap copper-based material can replace expensive gold and silver in the production of electronic devices, which require significant amounts of these materials.
CONSULT MORE INFORMATION: Chinese scientists develop bee-shaped spacecraft capable of changing shape
At the same time, the material will be of little use to counterfeiters, as their density remains the same as copper, making the material lighter than gold and a poor choice to make fake gold bars or coins.