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Aqua regia

Aqua regia (latin for "royal water") is a mixture of concentrated nitric acid and concentrated hydrochloric acid. It is one of the few reagents able to dissolve gold and platinum. It was so named because it can dissolve gold, which is the "King of Metals".

When the Nazis invaded Denmark, the Hungarian chemist George de Hevesy[?] dissolved the gold Nobel Prizes of Max von Laue[?] and James Franck[?] into aqua regia and placed this reagent on a shelf in his laboratory at the Niels Bohr Institute. After the war, he returned to find the solution undisturbed and precipitated the gold out of the acid.

Note: Aqua Regia should not be confused with acquaragia[?] which is more commonly known as turpentine in English and is a completely different substance from Aqua Regia.

External Links

  • The story of the Nobel medals, from the Nobel e-museum (http://www.nobel.se/nobel/medals/).
  • The story of the medals set to music! (http://home.inforamp.net/~hkaplan/VirtualSongbook/TheSolution.pdf)



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