Sunday Brunch is the Sunday morning show on ABC Canberra 666, hosted by the fantastic Lish Fejer. Colleague and Nanda Dasgupta and I were recently invited on to talk about Alchemy – the ancient art of transforming lead into gold. Whilst I wouldn’t consider myself an alchemist, a lot of what we do in nuclear physics does involve transforming one element into another.
As it happens, my first research project during my PhD studied reactions removing three protons from lead, which literally turns it into gold. Highly radioactive gold as it happens. Which, within a few minutes, radioactively decays to form stable Thallium. Not then, a very effective get-rich-quick scheme – but it was great fun!