By Elizabeth Prata
Recently I wrote about pearls, and today I’m writing about gold. Many precious and semi-precious gems mentioned in the Bible, and I’m interested in all of them! Next in my Jewels series I’ll write about rubies.
But first, some science. I haven’t written a science essay in a while.
Quantum dots are the new big thing in science, particularly chemistry. Last month two guys just won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their discovery of and manipulation of “quantum dots.”
“Quantum dots are tiny particles or nanocrystals of a semiconducting material with diameters in the range of 2-10 nanometers (10-50 atoms). They were first discovered in 1980. They display unique electronic properties” Source, Millipore Sigma
“The discovery of quantum dots, and the ability to synthesize such materials with high accuracy but relatively simple chemical methods, is an important step in the development of nanoscience and nanotechnology.” More on the Nobel Prize here.
The ability to construct machines at the sub-atomic level is Nanotechnology. It is engineering at the molecular scale. Molecule by molecule you can build something from the bottom up. Nano-technology is already being applied in medicine and environmental technologies. Nanotechnology is also known as molecular manufacturing.
Renowned physics professor Richard Feynman proposed the capability of nanotechnology in 1959, and in every decade since then, advances have been made in the field. That brings us up to last month:
In September 2023, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to “Moungi G. Bawendi, Louis E. Brus and Alexei I. Ekimov for being pioneers of the nanoworld. The new laureates discovered and developed quantum dots, semiconductors made of particles squeezed so small that their electrons barely have room to breathe. Semiconductors are crystals that help power our electronics. But while traditional crystals may be quite large at the molecular level, a quantum dot consists of just a few thousand atoms squished into a space just a few nanometers across. The difference in size between a quantum dot and a soccer ball is about the same as the difference between a soccer ball and the Earth, the Nobel Foundation said.” Source NY Times.
Nano-tech is is a hot topic. Within that field, nano-gold is even hotter. Scientists have discovered that as the gold particle size is decreased, there are many intriguing phenomena which occur.
On the nanoscale, gold becomes transparent! Remind you of any particular verses?
And now, scientists are discovering the uses of matching quantum dots with nano-gold and there are even further discoveries to be made that they say will benefit humankind.
This pdf explains nanogold in laymen’s terms: it’s really interesting and easy to read. Exploring Materials—Nano Gold
If you shrink gold down to a nanoparticle, its properties change dramatically. Its color changes, it becomes a very good conductor. It is no longer a metal – instead it turns into a semiconductor.
Even today, ultra-thin gold is being used on buildings and aircraft windows – thin film of gold display some unusual characteristics. When processed with ultra-thin sheets gold becomes transparent. Windows coated with gold admit light but reflects heat. Therefore, the cockpit windows of modern aircraft are coated with gold, as well as the windows of many new office buildings. (BBC).
Here are the biblical implications of nano-gold!
Have you ever been intrigued by the verse in Revelation 21:21,
And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
Or Revelation 21:18,
And the material of the wall was jasper, and the city was pure gold, like pure glass.
How can gold be transparent, you ask? Well, at the nano-level, gold becomes transparent! We didn’t know this until a new millennium, but God always knew this, since He is the author and architect of creation!
Perhaps the references to ‘gold pure as glass’ in those Revelation verses, the only places in the Bible where that combination is mentioned by the way, is meant symbolically. The older Commentary writers struggled with this and most explained the clear gold as the purity of the heavenly dwelling, using the pure gold as reference to New Jerusalem’s cleanness (absence of dirt or sin). And maybe it is.
Or maybe … now that we know of nano-gold’s properties, that it becomes transparent at the sub-molecular level, maybe the verse is meant literally.
Isn’t it interesting that God knows the properties of every single molecule on earth and in heaven. He made the sun, the moon, and the stars. He makes the Aurora Borealis. He makes gold, and He knows that gold can become transparent.
Will man go too far with nano-technology? Will the new advances in “quantum dots” give man the capability of creating a new and unique life forms? Will the nano-universe become man’s Tower of Babel? Time will tell. God will not allow man to intrude into His sphere. He shared Earth with man, putting man on the earth to work the garden and keep it. But it is His earth, His domain to give life and take it away. His domain to create beauty.
As for me, I can’t wait to have a sinless mind. When we ‘get there’ we will be cleansed of sin. I’ll think clearly- not just about difficult subjects like quantum physics or nano-technology, but able to think clearly and sinlessly about God. To SEE our Jesus, to live in His dwelling place, to experience the giant pearl gates and the street of gold, to be with His redeemed forever. What a day that will be!
Republished with permission from Blogs.crossmap.com, featuring inspiring Bible verses about Jewel Series #2: When gold becomes transparent.