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Homework Help: Gold and Silver

  1. Aug 28, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Once upon a time the famous archimedes was given a problem to determine if a crown supposedly made of pure gold actually contained some silver. If Archimedes was your lab partner, explain how the two of you could quickly determine if the crown were gold or not without damaging or destroying it.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I thought of getting the density (by measuring the mass, volume of the crown) and comparing it to the density of gold. But what if the density of gold has not be defined (found). Also, if i may ask, what do you call the shape of a crown and how do i find the volume.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 28, 2010 #2
    Well there are only a few properties that differ greatly between gold and silver. For example atomic weight/number and therefore its specific gravity, boiling point...

    I'm guessing the solution will be of some relevance to Archimedes... So I feel that you're on the right track by measuring the crowns volume...
  4. Aug 28, 2010 #3
    I used archimedes and solved it.
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