why gold?

December 7, 2010 at 11:49 pm | | science and the public

So why is gold valuable? NPR’s Planet Money has a fun podcast exploring the chemical reasons that humans value gold as a currency. Prof. Sanat Kumar goes through all the elements on the periodic table, and explains the reasons that each element couldn’t be a currency. For instance, lithium can be explosive when exposed to air, noble gases are really hard to keep in your pocket, silicon is too abundant, etc.

The podcast concludes that it was inevitable that humans would choose gold as currency. Cute.

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