Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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The Philosophers' Tone

Oh, the gilt!!!
  [vote for,

Packing up the garage I found an unused gold panning set I had forgotten about. It's something I always wanted to try and never got around to, so this morning I watched a whack of videos on the subject.

There's some cool stuff out there about the knack for finding and extracting gold from rivers and creeks but every method requires much work, which I have no problem with, but much time as well and that's something I don't have a lot of.

So, I think I figured out a way nobody has tried yet.
By placing the pan full of material from likely gold deposits on a speaker and slowly scrolling the frequency of the sound waves upwards much of the extraneous lighter material such as magnetite and quartz will be removed.
Now we turn the sound off, fill to the brim with water and put our clear glass cover in place so we can see the show.
Scrolling through frequencies the Chladni patterns begin to form in the sand. Differing densities of aggregate will begin to conform to differing shapes within the pan. The densest of this material will collect at the centers of the hollows of these lines of convergence, and can be extracted by designing the bottom of the pan to be able to quickly open and close an aperture beneath each of these isolated pockets for each new pattern until every speck of micro-gold has been separated from everything else.

At that point I started wondering if it might be possible to use Cymatic chambers floating at sea to extract gold directly from the sea water using wave-powered buoys to generate and store electricity to run the emitters.

There should be a certain frequency in which only micro-gold particles will precipitate out of solution and become trapped within the geometry of the converging wave nodes until becoming too saturated and therefore too heavy to remain held where they will fall out of suspension and into a collector at the base of the resonance chamber like a golden snow globe.

hmmm, it might be better to make the whole setup submerged and anchored to the bottom with a transponder letting me go out and find them every few months to collect my little pouch of gold dust.

Yep, sounds like much less time and effort than all of that other stuff I watched this morning.


       I offer a bun for the image. I have no clue about the feasibility.
pertinax, Oct 07 2017

       // micro-gold particles will precipitate out of solution //   

       Errr ... what ?   

       If the gold is in solution, it's divided at an atomic level. Since gold is a noble metal, that means individual atoms. It can only be precipitated by reacting it with an ionic species such as cyanide, a common extraction process.   

       If, however, the gold is particulate, then it isn't a solution but rather a colloid.
8th of 7, Oct 07 2017

       This may not work but it's clever anyway.
RayfordSteele, Oct 07 2017

       What [8th] said about the difference between solution and suspension.   

       For particulate gold, I think there's a problem. The Chladni pattern will indeed fractionate grit and sand, but it will do so according to some function of particle size + particle density + particle shape.   

       So, I'm not convinced that you'll end up with all the gold particles in one place. I think, at best, you'll end up with "50 micron rock plus 30 micron gold" in one place, "100 micron rock plus 80 micron gold" in another, etc. Or something like that.   

       What's really needed, for painless gold-dust recovery, is a liquid medium which is denser than rock and other debris, but less dense than gold. Mercury doesn't count because the gold dissolves in the mercury. A non-gold-dissolving solution would allow you to recover the gold particles easily and without having to re-purify the solution.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 08 2017

       // denser than rock and other debris, but less dense than gold. //   

       ... at ambient temperature, presumably; while molten metals might fulfill the density criteria, that might introduce other problems.
8th of 7, Oct 08 2017

       Ah, thank you.
Adds colloid to lexicon.

       //I think, at best, you'll end up with "50 micron rock plus 30 micron gold" in one place, "100 micron rock plus 80 micron gold" in another, etc.//   

       That could be. It's not the visual I get though.
I see the standing wave nodes acting almost as miniature gravity wells where denser material will not so much collect as it will push less dense material out of it's way in the same way that simple agitation of the gold-bearing sand causes the gold to sink to the bottom.
When we pull everything out of storage I've got some old speakers and a very old sound-board my kid got when the high school updated their music department, so I hope to experiment with this once we get settled.
I'll let you know how it goes.

       When it comes to Cymatics in the ocean, I see lower frequencies as being too weak to suspend gold particles, so until the frequency becomes tight enough things like sand and plastic particles will be all that collects at the standing wave nodes until the specific frequency is reached at which gold displaces this lighter material.   

       We might want to make sure that the sound doesn't cause dolphins to go insane or something before building any big resonance chambers.   

       It would be nice if it works, I really like it. That said, I wonder if it would be possible to blow dust (microfines) down a tunnel covered with static electricity. The little golf particles being conductive might fall out while the insulating dust might cling to the electrostatic surface.
beanangel, Oct 08 2017

       // little golf particles //   

       Those would presumably be the microscopic fragments of brain that golfers have to have removed from their skulls before they take up the game on a regular basis ?
8th of 7, Oct 08 2017

       // microscopic holes //   

       That depends; some are very small, but others are far away ...
8th of 7, Oct 08 2017

       Subtle wave shapes of flexibility and rigidity designed into the plate surface might add some more clearing ability.
wjt, Oct 09 2017


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