MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: Density of a penny

Date: Fri Dec 12 14:38:46 2008
Posted By: Raghuvaran Ganesan, Grad student, Electrochemistry, Central Electro Chemical Research Institute
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 1228232270.Ch

Density of a solid (esp. a crystal) depends greatly on the structure. One 
should be clear that penny is a piece of zinc electroplated with copper! 
Electrochemical baths are basically solution-solid interfaces. when Cu 
comes to the surface of zinc, it actually induces oxidation of Zn to its 
oxide because of the large difference between the electronegativity of Zn 
and Cu! This oxygen interference would be little in terms of mass but 
would affect the density to a significant extent. Thus the apparent 
density of the coin seems reduced than the parent ingredients.

Please mail to if you still have doubts!

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