Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

I Why is gold heavier than lead?

  1. Jul 23, 2017 #1
    Not only are lead nuclei heavier than gold ones (207 vs 200), but the atoms are smaller (ionic radius 119pm vs 137pm). There is every reason for Pb to be heavier. Why is it lighter? (11.34 vs 19.31 g/cm^3)

    They both have a FCC crystal structure, so the packing should be equally efficient.

    Source: https://courses.edx.org/courses/course-v1:MITx+3.091x+3T2016/periodic_table/ (unfortunately, you probably need an edx account to visit)

    Ignorance is lead, your answer will be gold to me. Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 23, 2017 #2
    Your question would be better phrased by replacing the word "heavier" with the word "denser". Try googling.
  4. Jul 23, 2017 #3

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    Not in a lattice they aren't. The lattice constant is not the ionic radius.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted