Atoms of a gold cone exposed to a strong electric field. Credit: Alexander Ericson
Melting gold at room temperature - science news in brief

Researchers have, for the first time, managed to melt gold at room temperature. There’s no need to rush and put your jewelry in the fridge! An intense electrical field is needed for the melting to occur.

The scientists placed a small piece of gold in an electron microscope and gradually exposed it to an increasingly stronger electrical field. The electric field excited the gold atoms which lost their ordered structure and released almost all their connections to each other. In other words, the gold melted at room temperature.

The discovery provides a new understanding of the physics of gold and opens the doors for new practical ways to use the precious metal for sensors, catalysts and transistors.

Read the full story: Chalmers University of Technology
Scientific publication: Physical Review Materials