Gold & Casio Watch – Periodic Table of Videos

Gold & Casio Watch – Periodic Table of Videos

okay so what we’re going to do today is something quite different I’ve never done it before we’re going to take Brady’s cheap Casio watch it looks like this we’re going to try and make it gold my favorite element so what we have here is a contraption that Neal made for evaporating metals so what we have is we have a chamber vacuum chamber and then we have in air two electrodes and then the goal is going to get really hot Gold is an element that has really excited people for thousands of years and one of the reasons is that it’s one of the very few metals that you can find in nature as the metal in the countryside in the right place you can find lumps of gold and once or twice in human history people have found really large lumps of gold weighing a kilo or more the Gold’s gonna melt a very high temperature eventually the gold atoms are gonna start to come off the gold hopefully we’re gonna get a nice gold coating on the watch it’s gonna look like a yeah expensive watch Gold is a very unreactive element it doesn’t react easily with oxygen or most of the other elements and therefore it can exist in the environment under conditions where most other metals would combine with oxygen or some other elements to form minerals so what we’re gonna do here is we’re going to test the whether or not the watch can withstand the vacuum and so we’re gonna put it into this chamber before we put it into the vacuum chamber over here because that one has a turbo pump on it if the watch does explode it might ruin the torval so we’re gonna risk this one first Gold is quite a large atom because it’s down near the bottom on the periodic table and so it doesn’t form very strong bonds and it is forming strong bonds that makes chemicals or makes elements reactive so we’re applying the vacuum male to the watch it all seems okay at the minute doesn’t seem to have exploded still work it is with styling a pressure of 0.1 millibar metals look like metals that is they have been the characteristic Sheen shininess because of the electrons in the solid are so called delocalized that is the electrons aren’t attached to one atom but are essentially shared by lots and lots of atoms and in order to get this effect you’ll only need a very very thin layer a few atoms thick 1020 atoms thick and it already looks shiny and you can hardly see through it so what I have here is a little piece of gold that we’re going to put into the bolt in the vacuum chamber and we’re going to heat it up to over a thousand degrees trying to get it to melt too to evaporate you don’t take you don’t need an awful lot of gold to actually get a gold covering on the gold colored covering on your watch so actually it’s gonna be very thin covering of gold nano meter level thickness gold like other elements in chemistry goes through fashions the famous chemist Michael Faraday in the nineteenth century discovered that you could form very small particles of gold in water to make a solution which was called a colloid where these tiny lumps are so small that they don’t settle out so even after years the liquid is still colored and in the last few years the last 10-15 years people have suddenly discovered that gold can be used as a catalyst for quite a few different reactions some of them quite simple like carbon monoxide CO reacting with oxygen to make co2 which is a reaction that sometimes quite difficult to catalyze and gold catalyzes it very well put my little bit of gold into the onto the bolt there we take I’ll put my little bit of gold onto the bolt here in the milk so this is a really high vacuum now I think we’re almost ready to crank up the currents between these two electrodes gotta heat up that bolt in there where the gold is sitting up and we’re going to evaporate the metal onto the watch temperatures going up and up now what slowly turning up so the gold is heating up can’t see it melting point yet we might need a little bit more heat it’s very difficult to find out how much precious metal is mined because the people who do the mining keep very quiet about exactly how much they get out some of the elements like rhodium are mined on a very small scale perhaps 20 tons a year of metal even though millions of tons of rock come out platinum and palladium are at least 10 times more than that 200 400 tons a year and gold is about another 10 times or so I think and in a platinum mine gold almost comes out as an impurity they mined the gold even though they’re looking for the platinum but they get obviously quite a lot of profit from the gold okay so the gold is melt in I can see it melt in here in the vault Gold is completely liquid now so what’s happening now is the gold is boiling away on the hot surface the atoms are coming up here depositing on the walls of the chamber and the watch is in the way here so all that these gold atoms that evaporate from the boat hit the watch and hopefully deposit here give us a nice thin gold film on the outside of the watch I’ve had very little gold I don’t have a wedding ring all those you’ve seen from our videos I am married because gold can react with mercury and it goes silver then and it spoils the rings though you can polish it off so I’ve never worn a ring and I don’t have any gold jewelry at all so you probably can’t see it well on screen well what’s happening here is I can see the gold and the boat is boiling away vigorously we’re getting evaporation here we could see I could see hopefully you can see on screen those goals depositing all over the window here as it evaporates off the surface off their boat but there’s a shadow here where gold hasn’t hit the window because the watch is in the way and there’s a couple of metal bars here of course in ancient times the alchemists were searching for gold what they wanted to do was to try and convert cheap metals like late I think the reason they chose late was because lead is heavy and dense like gold they wanted to transform these cheap metals into gold so they would become rich or even better so they could sell the process there was already the start of chemical engineering selling the process to kings and rich princes so the rich princes could make gold you see the inside of the window okay so see we’ve got a nice gold film here on the inside of the window so we definitely got some gold evaporating the famous physicist Isaac Newton was very keen on alchemy and although his work on gravitation mathematics was brilliant his work on alchemy was rather more misguided okay so here comes to watch so let’s see it’s the front of it got brown gold it has and it’s made a bit of a mess on the front of the watch and I think it got a bit hot and it seems to have melt at the window on the frontier watch so we’ve got a gold film here on the outside here watch but you could see there’s gaps in the gold so you can see here there’s a little silver bands and that’s where we clip it on for the holder to keep it in place


  1. 7:30 If they had succeeded wouldn't the value of gold drop dramatically? When a cheaper way to process bauxite in aluminum the value of aluminum went from something like $100 to $1 per unit.

  2. That colloid gold made me remember that if one adds colloid gold to glass the result is very beautiful ruby glass. Also somewhat expensive even though there is so little gold in it. Gold can be hammered out to a thin foil, gold leaf, that can be used for some forms of gilding. When one looks through such a leaf the light is greenish. It is also used for sunshades for astronauts. That is probably also deposited through evaporation but I do not know for sure.

  3. Why did they use the whole watch rather than just the strap? It would have saved the watch… and they were rather lucky the heat didn't make the battery explode!

  4. Something I've always wondered is, now that we know what matter is made of, something alchemists of old obviously didn't, is it actually possible to turn lead in to gold (Or something else much closer to gold on the table)? I'm assuming it would take something much more dramatic than a chemical bath, I mean like if you had access to a fission reactor or something. I imagine with a fission pod and a fusion pod you could make pretty much anything you'd want. Even if it did come out slightly radioactive.

  5. What lifts particels of gold in there? There is a vacuum so there is no upthrust, at least not from the air. The heat alone shouldn't make them lift, right? Can someone explain?

  6. Take the mechanism out and suspend the shell with strap into a gold solution, add electricity and a gold plating will be achieved.

  7. so basically this xperiment was prbably the most expensive destruction of a casio watch … still very interesting 🙂

  8. I love Periodic Videos, but that work (or shall we call it "experiment"(?) is awful, a total waste of resources and time.

  9. "the electrons aren't attached to one atom, but are essentially shared with lots and lots of atoms"

    Those electrons are heartless sluts.

  10. Maybe Professor Poliakoff and the organization that allowed these educational video magnificent Nottingham University etc, thank

  11. Awh. Have a gold plated watch take 2. Could you find a metal timex to use? That would be funny. A gold plated timex

  12. This proves that even geniuses can make big mistakes. You should have been able to remove the workings from the watch, leaving only the metal housing and band behind. Also, you could have suspended it with very thin wire, so you didn't have bars of steel blocking the gold atoms…

  13. I ran across a video a while back suggesting that the reaction which inspired the lead-into-gold obsession of alchemy was one of lead salts, one of which formed yellow crystals when it came out of solution which looked a lot like flecks of gold.

  14. I always love the editing in these videos. reminds me of pulp fiction. It keeps the video very interesting. Not that it needs it. This channel is a gift

  15. "…and once or twice in human history, people have found really large lumps of gold, weighing a kilo or more…" Ahem…they come much larger than that, if rarely. The Welcome Nugget (1854) was 69kg, and the largest alluvial nugget found was the Welcome Stranger (1869), which had a calculated refined weight of just over 97 kg (about 214 lb.) Truly huge – and it was found only 1.2 inches below the surface of the ground. Talk about an awesome welcome! 😀

  16. “I don’t have any gold jewelry at all.” Lies! I bet the professor is rocking a solid gold medallion the size of an Olympic medal around his neck 😏

  17. @ Periodic Videos
    Dose this experiment only work under vacuum or, can you use / get different results in the presents of different types of gases?

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