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Why is gold golden in colour?

  1. Apr 28, 2009 #1
    Gold being a very good conductor should reflect almost all light incident on it and should be appearing white or at least gray. then why is it golden.....?????
    pls do reply a detailed answer
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 28, 2009 #2

    Ben Niehoff

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    It has to do with relativistic corrections. Since gold is such a large atom, its electrons are moving very fast (effectively).
  4. Apr 29, 2009 #3


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    Specifically a transition to the p-orbital/band which is in the ultraviolet in Ag is shifted down into the blue in gold, giving it absorption in the blue range, hence a yellowish color, since that's the complementary color to blue.
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