The newly discovered varieties of the precious metal are expected to seriously impact many experiments, that use gold as a calibration standard due to the earlier perceived stability of its structure.
A group of scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Carnegie Institution for Science have managed to discover two completely new forms of gold’s molecular structure while studying the precious metal’s behaviour under harsh conditions.
Using a powerful laser, scientists rapidly heated a chunk of gold to extreme temperatures, while subjecting it to rapid compression with pressure levels reaching 322 gigapascals – similar to the ones at the Earth’s core. The researchers made stunning discoveries when they monitored the changes in the metal’s structure using x-rays.
Source: News Agencies