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51
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
2k 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
862 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
154 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k 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
68 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
2answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
201 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
587 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 ...