Gold used for Technology
When we think about gold, the images that we conjure up are usually of beautiful gold jewelry, piles of gold coins, maybe even bars of gold bullion. But gold is used in dentistry, as components in our electronics and in medicine; gold is even in space! Even though most of the mined gold in the world goes into the manufacture of jewelry,
coins and bullion, about twelve percent of the gold used in the world each year is industrial, and as the international demand for electronics continues to rise, the demand for gold is likely to as well.
Because gold is both flexible, highly conductive, and mixes well with other metals, it is used in almost every kind of electronic. Whether large televisions or the smallest cell phone, gold is a key component in the connectors and relays; one of the most important reasons for using gold is that it does not tarnish or corrode. Gold is also used in the same way in computers, whether tablets, laptops or desktops.
Gold has been a highly valuable part of the engineering of space vehicles. Because gold doesn't break down, tarnish or corrode, it has been used in circuitry by NASA for years. It is also a component of many of the lubricants and films that protect our spacecraft from the high temperatures found in outer space. For the same reason that it works to protect our spacecraft, gold is used in architectural glass; when window glass is coated with a thin layer of gold, it helps to keep heat out in the summer and heat in during the winter, effectively reducing energy costs.
Medically speaking, gold has been injested as a health treatment for centuries by people in India, and modern uses for gold are still being discovered. Gold is included as part of an injectable solution that arthritis sufferers receive to relieve the pain of their disease. Gold can also be used as part of pellets implanted in cancerous tissue to emit low levels of radiation to treat cancer.
Because gold resists bacteria, it is often used surgically in areas considered to be at high risk of infection, such as the ear. This is the same reason that gold is used in dentistry. Gold is one of the few metals that can be used without risk of rejection or sensitivity. Gold is used as part of treatment for a rare condition that prevents people from closing their eyes, and in an exciting recent research, gold particles are being used in early detection of breast cancer.
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