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You know, they taught us in grade school that there are elements in nature that can never be broken down. But then we learned in high school, that isn't entirely true. Elements themselves are made up of electrons, neutrons and protons. Getting them apart and recombining them wouldn't be easy. But it could theoretically be done.That's when I got this idea in HS. Why not just make gold, from scratch? It seems simple enough. Just take a nearby element, like Osmium or Iridium, and bombard it with alpha particles. (Just looking at the periodic table now, I realize Platinum is right next to Osmium and Iridium. But back then I wanted gold for some reason.) It would be impossible for some reason, wouldn't it? Or would it? Also, I realized even in HS, Osmium and Iridium are rare elements themselves. Plus, there is very little gold on earth. Is that an accident? I know you could make individual gold atoms by smashing particles into each other. But I realized even back then, the costs for that would far outweigh the return.You know, they actually cover this topic on the Twilight Zone in "The Rip Van Winkle Caper" originally aired on April 21, 1961 on CBS. It's interesting, because gold has many industrial uses. It would be wonderful if we could just manufacture it in large quantities.So is it possible? Would it be cost-effective? And will it ever be?
Gold is neither fissile nor fissionable.
Gold is not heavy enough to undergo fission, for fission you need thorium or heavier. Iron just represents the minimum binding energy per nucleon and represents the end point of fusion produced energy. Elements heavier than iron could theoretically be used to produce energy by fission but this does not happen until thorium is reached.
Well i'm not a physicist and my knowledge is sketchy but I am fairly sure thorium is the first element that can undergo fission. Elements such as lead do have huge energy in the nucleus but are too stable to undergo fission. For fission to occur the nucleus has to be beyond a certain weight and inherently unstable.
Neutron sources are expensive