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65
votes
6answers
16k views

Why are most metals gray/silver?

Why do most metals (iron, tin, aluminum, lead, zinc, tungsten, nickel, etc.) appear silver or gray in color? (What atomic characteristics determine the color?) What makes copper and gold have ...
11
votes
1answer
417 views

Island of Stability

When I was much younger, I remember being fascinated by the thought of an Island of Stability at very high atomic numbers. However, I have not heard much on this and I was wondering Did this idea ...
7
votes
1answer
5k views

What is so special about iron?

I remember reading something about how iron was a highly stable element. Ever since then, I have looked at iron fry pans with new-found respect. However, in a recent discussion I was unable to ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Why are synthetic elements unstable?

So far 20 synthetic elements have been synthesized. All are unstable, decaying with half-lives between years and milliseconds. Why is that?
2
votes
4answers
190 views

Can nuclear transmutation be observed in real time?

Ignoring the quantum zeno effect (if possible?), can we observe in real-time the transformation of one element to another? I'm talking about an amount visible to the naked eye where one could see ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Why heavy elements don't sink to the core?

If earth assembled out of space dust, how come we find heavy elements like gold, silver, uranium and bunch of others that are heavier than iron on the surface? I mean silicon (Si mass 28.084) being ...
6
votes
2answers
852 views

Is it possible to create a new element that doesn't exist in the universe?

When I say something new I do not refer to something already made like H,O etc and when I mean something new I do not refer to a transformation like tritium to helium and gold. If so how ?(I mean is ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Why is spectrum obtained by sunlight, said to be continuous?

My sir spoke about atomic spectra today. Sir said that, unlike the spectrum obtained by analyzing the sunlight, the spectra of atoms are not continuous. I got a doubt here, i,e even the sunlight ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

Why are some elemental materials grey?

How does grey occur in elemental materials such as metals? I believe that grey arises from the simultaneous reflection and absorption of all colors of the spectrum (in different atoms of course), as ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a Tungsten alloy more dense than gold?

This thought came from researching a previous question. In the spirit of our get-rich-quick scheming I looked up element densities and prices near gold. Element (g/cm^3) (dollars/kg) Uranium ...
3
votes
1answer
186 views

What is the heaviest element possible produced in a supernova?

So, I would imagine this question would have been asked here long ago but the suggested questions and Google is really letting me down now. So, as far as I can tell Plutonium is the heaviest naturally ...
1
vote
1answer
223 views

How much lead is there in the universe?

I know there is around 10^80 atoms in the observable universe, but is there any estimate the amount of lead in the universe (within a couple magnitudes of 10)?
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Heavy Element Production from Supernova

When considering super massive stars going supernova, what are the heaviest elements that are predicted to be able to be created? So if the star VY Canis Majoris (1200 suns) were to go supernova, what ...
0
votes
1answer
686 views

Reference for phase diagrams of elements [duplicate]

I am trying to answer this question: What is the pressure inside a sealed container with liquid nitrogen at room temperature? Can you help me find a good online reference for phase diagrams. I am ...