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Kevin Kerr
10/25/2012
Mrs. Voland
H Chemistry II
Chemistry In The News

In this New York Times article, they are talking about the practice of Alchemy. Alchemy by definition is turning any basic, or less valuable metal, into higher valued metals, usually gold, silver, or platinum. A chemistry professor at Princeton University has come very close to doing exactly what Alchemy calls for. "A Chemist Comes Very Close to a Midas Touch" is describing the expirements that Paul Chirik, the chem professor at Princeton, has been conducting in order to turn metals into higher grade metals. This would be grounding breaking in the world of chemistry as gold and platinum have never been created using other metals. He uses catalysts to speed up the reactions, and using cobalt he has created reactions unlike any other prior. The article does not go very in depth about his specific expirements, as it is very complicated. Professor Chirik is not only doing this for gold and platinum, but for the well being of human society, as the things we take for granted could run out of supply eventually and it would be good to know how to create them.

In my humble opinion, I personally disagree with the practice of Alchemy. The high values of gold and platinum are based more on there rarity for the most part. If you created more gold or platinum, the value would simply go down. On the other hand, creating more lithium is genius. Lithium batteries are very widely used, and as stated in the article, we do not have unlimited amounts of it. Creating things that we actually need is essential, but gold and platinum should be the least of our worries. The article did not give enough factual information about the potential use of these created materials, for me to completely have a solid opinion on it. This article almost makes me wonder where our society is headed. If people are worried about their gold or platinum, then they are insane in my views. People have such materialistic views now...
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