Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Solid gold exhibit.

Like gold but larger
  (+15, -1)(+15, -1)
(+15, -1)
  [vote for,

This is an installation for a large gallery (a very large gallery) or, more probably, a salt-plain somewhere.

After walking through the installation for a number of hours, you finally spot something shimmering in the sunlight, about a mile away. As you head towards it, you eventually make out that it's a sphere of indistinct colour, about a metre in diameter, on a plinth. As you get closer, within a few yards and then a few feet, you find that it's not just one sphere, but a cluster of about two hundred smaller balls, each the size of an apple.

That's it. That's all there is.

However, after scratching your head for a while, you notice a small arrow mounted on the plinth, pointing into the distance (as almost all arrows do). Hefting your rucksack, you take careful note of the arrow's direction, and start walking. After a couple of miles, you pass a couple walking the opposite way, and exchange a few words before continuing. You see no- one else.

You've been walking for about two and half hours now, and the exhibit that you last visited is just the tiniest dot against the white salt plain.

After three hours, you almost miss the next part of exhibit, passing a hundred yards to the side of it before you notice it's there. Hastening up to it, you find that most of the exhibit is actually its plinth - otherwise you'd have missed it altogether. The exhibit itself is actually a single fuzzy sphere, about the size of a golfball.

This is getting exhausting, but you're determined not to miss any of the installation. There are only another 78 electrons to go, and then a brief 17 mile jog will take you to the nucleus of the next atom.

You set off once more, but this time with a slightly uneasy feeling about the solidity of the packed-salt floor in which your wraith-like boots are leaving footprints.

MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 10 2008

(?) The Particle - The wrong turn that led physics to a dead end http://www.blazelabs.com/f-p-swave.asp
replace those solids with moving waves [xenzag, Mar 10 2008]

Solid Gold exhibit http://www.dickelio...oPage/solidGold.jpg
[normzone, Sep 03 2008]

Idea for the Plinth http://www.youtube....watch?v=lFqlQiTTHRs
[SANEAlex, Jun 07 2011]


       Wave at the electrons. [+]
baconbrain, Mar 10 2008

       This is quite brilliant, but I'm afraid that the point would be lost on most people. You would only get geeks like me, the odd school science class, and hikers using the exhibit as way-points on a hike.
(Reminds me of a scale model of the solar system I went to once - some 5km long. The sun was the size of a large beach ball.)
neutrinos_shadow, Mar 10 2008

       Then some joker comes along and add or removes an electron...
phoenix, Mar 10 2008

       //but I'm afraid that the point would be lost on most people.// That's OK. I think geeks deserve more and, in any case, they need to get out.   

       //Then some joker comes along and add or removes an electron..// Are you positive?
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 10 2008

       Ion the way already.   

       I've been through a couple of those solar system exhibits. They are impressive. This should be equally informative, if a bit rough on the ankles.
baconbrain, Mar 10 2008

       Err, I make a 1m sphere of gold to weigh 10,107.6kg.
neutrinos_shadow, Mar 10 2008

       [Neutrino's] is correct in his calculation, but that is irrelevant. Why do we want a 1m sphere of gold?
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 10 2008

       By my math, a 5cm-radius sphere only contains 523 cm^3; we'd need about 100,000 cm^3, more like 1/4 of a 1m sphere, not 1/2!
jutta, Mar 10 2008

       Jutta, a 5cm-radius sphere has a volume of about 65 cubic centimetres. [EDIT!! EDIT!! EDIT!! This is very embarrassing, but you're right. I divided the radius by two for some reason. Very embarrassing. Don't tell anyone.]   

       BUT but but but - the exhibits aren't made of gold.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 10 2008

       In Russia, they are.
jutta, Mar 10 2008

MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 10 2008

       Oops, sorry, missed a factor of 10^3 early on!   

       //BUT but but but - the exhibits aren't made of gold.//   

       Then why is the idea called "solid gold exhibit"? [edit - clued in by 78 more electrons to go] OK, I get it.
csea, Mar 11 2008

       I'm sort of curious what happens if I pry up one of the neutrons?
MechE, Sep 03 2008

       // what happens if I pry up one of the neutrons? //   

       Ah, but you can't. That's the beauty of this exhibit - it doesn't need any security.   

       The moment you look at a neutron, or the nucleus, or an electron, you collapse its wave function; The act of observation causes the observed object to change its state (mass, velocity, position) and so as soon as you see it, it's not there any more. Heisenbergian uncertainty will prevent you ever actually interacting directly with any of the nucleons - unless, of course, you are struck unexpectedly by one of them, in which case your mass, position and velocity will become fixed (look around and see all those little grave markers ?).   

       This would be a wonderful punishment for gold-obsessed recidivistic kleptomaniacs, ever rushing onwards towards where they think the gold is, and as soon as they spot it, pouff! it vanishes.
8th of 7, Sep 04 2008

       [-1] does not really yell out reality . Sorry, i'm expecting realities answers to be a jaw dropping hit of beautifully grounded simplicity .
wjt, Sep 05 2008

       If the First electron's name is 'Ella', what are the expected names of her outer radius sieplings then ??,.. she would be embarrassed to be the only Electron, assigned a proper, proprietory, name ?,.   

       Turning to the Nucleus, how does one keep track of spins and positions, let alone ID's of such a messy vibrating, assembly.   

       As to Spheres : Here in Modena, an artist has made a 'Gold - Keep Individual Distance' exibit piece, installed semi-permanently in the courtyard of a former Convent, now a public Library.   

       It's about 4-5 meters in it entirety, the sphere is contrued from a very large number of tag-welded- together steel-plates, - the steel plates are shaped from individual citizens hand's silouettes - , and in the centre, an about 45-60 cm's diameter GOLDEN surface 'ball'.   

       The steel plate hand figures are a tad rusty by now, half a year since it's installation.   

       There's a calm, resident/people's atmosphere about it. I like it.
sirau, Jun 05 2011

       Needs better transportation.
Voice, Jun 07 2011

       I read this idea, and was about to point out that it's a bit of an artsy fartsy way of making a not-very- profound point. Then I realized who'd written it.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 07 2011

       If you really want it artsy fartsy you should use the back to back parabolic mirror hologram trick and have them as your plinths then the electron representations could be seen but not touched a kind of Schrödinger uncertainty you would not know it wasn't where you thought it was until you tried to touch it ;-)
SANEAlex, Jun 07 2011

       [+] Awesome! You might be able to stick this in Arizona somewhere.
notmarkflynn, Jun 08 2011


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