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Black gold....not the Texas tea variety

By KC on January 3, 2012 | Log in to view or post comments

Unfortunately, this is not a story about a man named Jed, who could barely keep his family fed; who became a millionaire and subsequently moved away from there.  No, this is a story about a solution of nano gold and why it’s being protected from the cold.  It will be shipped separately from the main NanoDays kit, only to keep it from getting frost-bit.  Ok, no more rhyming.  It’s starting to get confining. (ok, seriously…)

The reason for shipping the nano gold solution separately from the main NanoDays 2012 kit is not for lack of space in the box, but because of temperature; it will turn black if it freezes.  The nano gold solution is a mixture of gold nanoparticles and water.  As the water freezes, the gold particles get concentrated into smaller pockets of liquid.  This will eventually lead to a very high concentration that causes the particles to irreversibly stick together (due to van der Waals forces), thus destroying the interesting optical properties and leaving only little black flecks floating in water……not as fun an activity for visitors.

So, because January in Minnesota is (typically) a bit chilly, we wanted to be able to ship the gold faster than the main box (which is in transit for about 3-5 days) to reduce the time in potentially frigid delivery trucks.  The material is actually quite stable, but we didn’t want to take any chances.  The nano gold can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator (at 4° C), but just not frozen.  Because unlike the bubblin’ crude ole Jed found, this black gold is not desirable.

Y’all keep warm now, y’hear?