One mind-blowing story about gold that was left out of history books
What would you do if you knew that your jewelry may be taken away from you? Would you give it away or try to hide it? Let us learn how one Hungarian chemist hid two gold Nobel medals to return them later.
"Royal water" is the literal translation of the latin termin "Aqua regia" that denotes a mixture of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid. Aqua regia has a strong oxidizing power, thus it dissolves metals.
Alchemists seeking for the Philosopher's stone considered gold to be the king of metals. Consequently, the acid that could dissolve the king of metals should be the king of waters. Aqua regia is applied in laboratories for different purposes.Thieves often use the royal water to dissolve padlocks. They pour some acid into a padlock, wait for some time, then hit it with a hammer. Amateurs use it to extract gold from electronic components. However, the history knows one more intriguing way to use of Aqua regia.
German physicists Max Theodor Felix von Laue and James Franck were awarded the Nobel Prize and deposited their golden medals to Niels Henrik David Bohr. In Nazi Germany the awarding of the Nobel Prize was strictly forbidden. When Germany occupied Copenhagen in 1940, one of employees of The Niels Bohr Institute, George Charles de Hevesy, dissolved the medals in Aqua regia in fear of their confiscation. The outwardly ordinary jar with the golden solute was peacefully standing among other ordinary jars during the time of occupation. Do you want to know what happened next?
After World War II, George Charles de Hevesy extracted gold out from the acid and passed it to the Nobel Society. The Nobel medals were recast from the original gold.
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