Chemistry: The Search for Gold
Alchemy experimented with gunpowder, developed remedies, and researched minerals and salts: many alchemists were a thing of international scientists. For centuries they tried to make precious gold from base metals such as iron and lead.
Explain that you know in school that their attempts were doomed Manon Bischoff From «the spectrum of science» in an interview with detektor.fmMediator Mark Zimmer.
One can never transform one element into another with a chemical reaction. This requires nuclear physical processes such as those that occur in a particle accelerator. However, Bischoff explains, the dream of alchemy lives on among scholars today. They try to use specially designed light pulses to change the properties of molecules, atoms, or even individual light particles according to their desires. They want to use it to modify fabrics in a way that mimics the properties of another material.
However, unlike ancient alchemy, it is not about turning lead into gold. Instead, the focus of the experiments is on the question of how to create new technologies with the help of such control over quantum systems. An example is the high-precision sensors that can detect the smallest electromagnetic fields. Additionally, one hopes Phenomena such as superconductivity To unleash their ultimate secrets.
He had already achieved his first successes: By illuminating conductive solids with lasers, quantum physicists had already made them act as an insulator and vice versa. In his podcast, Bischoff explains how these lasers work and what technological advances could make them possible, but also why these experiments are so susceptible to interference.
The article to be read: https://detektor.fm/wissen/spektrum-podcast-moderne-alchemie