Question by : The ancient alchemists dreamed of being able to turn lead into gold.?
The ancient alchemists dreamed of being able to turn lead into gold. By using lead-206 as the target
atom of a powerful accelerator, we can attain that dream in principle. Find a one-step process that
will convert 206
82Pb into a nuclide of gold-79. You may use alpha particles, beta particles, positrons,
or protons. Write the nuclear equation to turn lead into gold.

can i turn skeet into platinum so i can build a robot dog?

### 6 Responses to “The ancient alchemists dreamed of being able to turn lead into gold.?”

1. Yeah they could

But the cost of the lead needed outweighed the cost of the resulting gold lol

2. no

3. Um…find someone who wants a bunch of lead and trade it for a gold coin.
POOF! Lead to gold, and I didn’t even need to go to college to figure it out.

4. he wants the the nuclear equation to turn lead into gold.

5. Bonus question: At \$1200 an ounce for gold, what % of the electric bill for the powerful accelerator will you be able to pay with the gold you made from the lead? Assume a yield of 100% to answer this question.

6. You can turn lead into gold by bombarding it with protons, or maybe alpha particles, but it is very unlikely that any process will result in turning lead, with more protons, into gold, with fewer protons.

No isotopes of lead are fissionable, so neutron bombardment won’t work. Alpha and protons, should they stay in the nucleus, will increase the atomic number, not decrease it. Positrons are anti-electrons and unlikely to get past the electron cloud without being annihilated, literally, in a “cloud” of gamma rays.

At best, a stream of electrons shot into the nucleus could convert some protons into neutrons, and lower the atomic number. Each lead atom would have to have enough electrons interacting with three protons to convert then to neutrons. The mass number would stay the same, and the atomic number would decrease by 3.

82-Pb-206 + 3(-1e-0) –> 79-Au-206