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I am a Math student but now I have to deal with gold nanoparticles in aqueous solution. Now I was wondering whether the physical properties of gold nanoparticles are the same as the properties of gold itself(whereby I mean a huge amount of gold) or do they rather behave like single gold atoms? Further I was wondering about the following: If gold particles are swimming around in aqueous solution: What sort of forces do we have or to be more precise: What is the most important term in the interaction betweeen gold(nanoparticle)-water, water-water(i guess this is dipole-dipole and H-bonding) and gold(nanoparticle)-gold(nanoparticle)?

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The second part of the question makes sense (though it may be more at home on chemistry.stackexchange.com), but the first part needs more detail to be answerable. What physical properties are you interested in? Density may be much the same as in the bulk case, but electrical conductivity and hydrodynamic forces depend more sensitively on the size. –  Chris White Jul 17 '13 at 22:13
    
I am especially interested in the electrical properties. Yeah, I thought about posting it in the chemistry section, but I am more interested in the equations of the interaction potentials, wherefore I decided to post it in the physical section. –  Xin Wang Jul 17 '13 at 22:16
    
The interaction potentials fall under the area of colloid science. This is normally considered to be physical chemistry, so you should ask in the Chemistry SE. I worked as a colloid scientist (in industry not academia) for many years, and was usually considered to be a chemist. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colloid#Interaction_between_particles for some background and as a starting point for Googling. –  John Rennie Jul 18 '13 at 10:45

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