why is copper that color?

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I want you to imagine a metal. It’s probably a shiny grey block isn’t it? But then you have copper which is kinda orange. It’s very unique but why is it a different color and why are other metals grey in the first place?

In: Chemistry

Anonymous 0 Comments

For the same reason that Gold is golden, heavier atoms (given certain other factors) can cause Relativistic effects on their electron’s. The result is a shift in the light absorbed by the atoms to the blue end of the spectrum, leaving more red/orange/yellow light which gives them their characteristic color.

If you want a full discussion of this: https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/relativistic-effects-for-copper-and-gold.973534/