Gold is a soft metal with a characteristic yellow colour. It is the most malleable and ductile of any element. It is unaffected by air, water, alkalis and acids, with the exception of "aqua regia", HNO3/HCl. The fact that it is chemically unreactive means that it is often found in its natural state. It is a good thermal and electrical conductor and has excellent reflective properties to both light and infrared. Most of the metal is retained for use as bullion reserves, but some is used within the electronics and jewellery industries, where it is frequently alloyed with other elements to improve the mechanical properties of the metal (e.g. copper and silver). Other uses for the metal are as a heat reflecting coating for glass as well as as a decorative medium. Aurum is Latin for gold, hence the symbol Au.

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Known since prehistoric times.

0.0011 ppm of the Earth's crust.

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Atomic number 79 Clip
Atomic / Molecular Weight 196.9665 gmol-1Clip
Density 19281 kgm-3Clip
Crystal Structure fcc Clip
Lattice constant 408 fmClip
Melting Point 1337.59 KClip
Boiling Point 3123 KClip
Tensile strength 120000000 Nm-2Clip
Youngs modulus 71000000000 Nm-2Clip
Poissons ratio 0.44 Clip
Linear expansivity 0.0000142 K-1Clip
Specific heat capacity 130 Jkg-1K-1Clip
Latent heat of fusion 67000 Jkg-1Clip
Thermal conductivity 296 to 319 Wm-1K-1Clip
Bulk Modulus of Rigidity 217000000000 Nm-2Clip
Electromotive Series -1.42 VClip
Electrical Conductivity 41000000 Sm-1Clip
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See also: Aqua Regia, Carat Gold, Crown Gold, Gold Leaf, Iron II Sulphide, Periodic Table, Touchstone, Tumbaga, White Gold.

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Subjects: Chemistry

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