Science

Gold: The rich element

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Gold represents a tiny fraction of the elements in the known universe. The reason for its rarity is owed to the incomprehensible amount of energy needed for its formation. Gold is formed in stars, but only in those that are exploding in giant supernovae, or incredibly dense ones that have come together in monstrously powerful collisions, according to the journal PNAS

Stars, such as our sun, generate energy through the power of fusion, where smaller elements are fused, or combined, together into heavier elements. To start with, a star may be mostly hydrogen, the smallest element. The process of fusion under immense pressure and heat in the star’s core will generate helium. When hydrogen runs low and the star begins to reach the next phase of its life cycle, it will fuse helium into the next heavier element, and so on. 

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