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Several topics in chemistry and materials science are introduced in this publication. Depending on the level of the students, further exploration may be appropriate. Listed below are questions for further discussion.

Hardness of metals: how does crystalline structure relate to the hardness of metals? How does grain structure?

What is the relationship between appearance and surface topography of metals? Why are rough surfaces dull and smooth surfaces shiny?

Displacement plating: how do these reactions nucleate on surfaces? Why are these reactions self-terminating?

Chemical patinas: find the crystalline structure of different mineral patinas on metallic art (e.g., cuprite, brochantite, anthlerite, atacamite, paratacamite). Why do we see different colors when we patinate metals?

Electroplating and electroforming: why is current density an important parameter in plating operations? Why are the reaction kinetics diffusion limited?

Environmental topics: can mercury gilding be performed without endangering gilders or the environment? What sorts of precautions might be taken to mitigate mercury vapors and reduce exposure to toxins? How is mercury used in gold mining operations?

Damascene on silicon: how is silicon etched to create grooves for copper in the manufacture of damascened computer chips? How do photoresists affect the etching of silicon and ultimately the damascened copper?

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