Why are people obsessed with gold?

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om617
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Re: Why are people obsessed with gold?

Postby om617 » Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:42 pm UTC

watch_wait_plot wrote:It takes much longer than a decade (probably more along the lines of a century or two), but keep in mind that a nuclear warhead needs farmore than half of it's fissionable materials in order to maintain its functionality. I imagine the gap is even more narrow for maintaining warhead yield. (Yes, that was conjecture. But it was logical conjecture. :) ) I'll look for some exact figures, on that.


Yes, the plutonium decay is a factor for a weapon on the order of one half century old, but given other constraints, including delivery system compatibility, nuclear weapons are not expected to last that long in the first place.

http://www.lanl.gov/quarterly/q_w03/shelf_life.shtml
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Re: Why are people obsessed with gold?

Postby hobbesmaster » Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:39 pm UTC

om617 wrote:Pu-239 has a half life of c. 24,000 years- the fissionable material isn't the issue. All weapons, including conventional ones, have a shelf-life, often based on corrosion of various components, and nuclear weapons that are non-functional due to corrosion or other issues can be brought back into working order without extreme difficulty.


I thought that number (10) was due to tritium decay.

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Re: Why are people obsessed with gold?

Postby Mr. Beck » Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:35 pm UTC

hobbesmaster wrote:
om617 wrote:Pu-239 has a half life of c. 24,000 years- the fissionable material isn't the issue. All weapons, including conventional ones, have a shelf-life, often based on corrosion of various components, and nuclear weapons that are non-functional due to corrosion or other issues can be brought back into working order without extreme difficulty.


I thought that number (10) was due to tritium decay.

Tritium has a half-life of 13 years, so that would make more sense...

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Re: Why are people obsessed with gold?

Postby RAPTORATTACK!!! » Thu Jun 26, 2008 1:49 am UTC

Tritium lets you make mini suns that then become magnetic and have a strange aversion to the inverse square law.

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Re: Why are people obsessed with gold?

Postby Mr. Beck » Thu Jun 26, 2008 2:45 am UTC

RAPTORATTACK!!! wrote:Tritium lets you make mini suns that then become magnetic and have a strange aversion to the inverse square law.

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It also appears to be a gray solid worth far more than platinum...

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Re: Why are people obsessed with gold?

Postby was_fired » Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:14 pm UTC

Mr. Beck wrote:
RAPTORATTACK!!! wrote:Tritium lets you make mini suns that then become magnetic and have a strange aversion to the inverse square law.

Spiderman, Spiderman, friendly neighborhood Spiderman!

It also appears to be a gray solid worth far more than platinum...


Sure, do you have any idea how expensive it is to compress tritium into a solid and keep it that way at room temperature at only one atmosphere. In order to do something amazing like that you would need some sort of evil, sentient, robotic arms.
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Re: Why are people obsessed with gold?

Postby thoughtfully » Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:59 pm UTC

was_fired wrote:
Mr. Beck wrote:
RAPTORATTACK!!! wrote:Tritium lets you make mini suns that then become magnetic and have a strange aversion to the inverse square law.

Spiderman, Spiderman, friendly neighborhood Spiderman!

It also appears to be a gray solid worth far more than platinum...


Sure, do you have any idea how expensive it is to compress tritium into a solid and keep it that way at room temperature at only one atmosphere. In order to do something amazing like that you would need some sort of evil, sentient, robotic arms.

Got some of that right here! (esp since somebody mentioned our friendly neighborhood wall-crawler)
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om617
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Re: Why are people obsessed with gold?

Postby om617 » Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:05 pm UTC

Some fusion bombs use D-D (Deuterium-Deuterium) fusion. Also, the tritium in a D-T device isn't a permanent part of the weapon (the amount of tritium inserted into the warhead prior to detonation is what allows us to vary the yield) and thus can be (and must be) replenished on a regular basis.
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Re: Why are people obsessed with gold?

Postby RAPTORATTACK!!! » Thu Jun 26, 2008 10:54 pm UTC

Gold foil is used on satellites and spacecraft to shield the sensitive electronic innards against radiation, right? Perhaps nuclear missiles are hardened against EMP or other interference using gold foil?


So how exactly does that work? Does the induced current go just through the gold rather than the circuitry (sorry if that's stupid).
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Re: Why are people obsessed with gold?

Postby 0SpinBoson » Fri Jun 27, 2008 9:07 am UTC

RAPTORATTACK!!! wrote:
Gold foil is used on satellites and spacecraft to shield the sensitive electronic innards against radiation, right? Perhaps nuclear missiles are hardened against EMP or other interference using gold foil?


So how exactly does that work? Does the induced current go just through the gold rather than the circuitry (sorry if that's stupid).


Yes. It's called a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage. If you surround a space by conducting material (e.g. chickenwire) you shield it from EM radiation. This is important in space where the ionosphere isn't around to protect things.The reason they use gold is that the conductivity is better than most other things, and it's easy to make gold films. More importantly, it's rather uniform. If you measure the resistivity of Cu on 2 different wires, you will likely get different answers.

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Re: Why are people obsessed with gold?

Postby ikkleste » Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:54 am UTC

It's not the resistivity that makes gold good for contacts but the surface energy.

low surface energy makes it easier for charge to flow from one surface to another (at least i think it's low SE).

I'm not sure that audio wise it does make it difference but it conceivably could. If you have high quality expensive wires, uber speakers, it'd be a shame to lose all of that fidelity due to a crappy contact between your jack plugs for the sake of 0.05g of gold. So while in a wire conductivity is a bulk property at a junction it's a surface property, copper is better at the former, gold at the latter.
As we move towards thinner smaller electricals, and flexable electronics that property is going to become even more important (at least until we can find something (probably organic) to fill that hole. I remember reading a year or so back we had actually already extracted a significant portion of the worlds gold (90%?) so supply is falling while demand is increasing. This is why gold has shot up in price over the last few years and is likely to continue to rise.

In short it's used not for it's bulk conductivity but it's surface conductivity.

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Re: Why are people obsessed with gold?

Postby Technical Ben » Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:22 pm UTC

It defiantly looks better ;)

Could it be the placebo effect? The more expensive it is = the more you believe it works = the more you believe the sound quality is better...
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