Lead AN 82 and gold AN 79 are fairly close to one an other on the Periodic Table - so maybe the alchemists of the middle ages were on to something. In fact it was already done: There are reports that Glenn Seaborg, 1951 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, succeeded in transmuting a minute quantity of lead (possibly en route from bismuth, in 1980) into gold. There is an earlier report (1972) in which Soviet physicists at a nuclear research facility near Lake Baikal in Siberia accidentally discovered a reaction for turning lead into gold when they found the lead shielding of an experimental reactor had changed to gold. has there been a follow up research on this? and what about these artificial elements - were they not transumated from other elements lower on the Periodic Table? is transmutation of the elements similar tot he fusion process in stars? - in which case control of the engery released would be necessary - or is there or could there be a more graceful way of doing it. Every so often I come across the term 'picotechnoly' - a possible development from 'nanotechnology' and which would involve manipulation of sub atomic particles. Assuming such a technology was possible in the future then would we not have a more graceful method of transmutation?