Klaus Blaum

  • What is gold?
  • Geist Heidelberg, Lecture

Cult object, currency, jewelry – gold, the most coveted metal of mankind. But where does it come from? All earthly gold originally lay in the earth’s interior and reached the earth’s surface through volcanoes as pressure increased. However, numerous scientists continue to puzzle over where the gold in the earth’s interior comes from. There is only agreement that the origin is not to be found on earth, but in the universe, long before the existence of the earth. Researchers assume that gold particles were transported to earth by a supernova.

This raises the question of what other elements, now unknown to us, exist. The answer is expected to come from the new heavy ion accelerator, FRIB, which is expected to add to the number of known nuclides, about 3,000. “This facility will provide us with about a thousand more new isotopes, giving us new experimental opportunities in a wide variety of fields,” says Klaus Blaum.

Prof. Dr. Klaus Blaum is director at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg and professor of physics and astronomy at Heidelberg University. In 2019, he was elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He has been awarded numerous prizes, most recently the Otto Hahn Prize in 2021.

As part of the International Science Festival – Geist Heidelberg

Foto: Sarina Chamatova

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