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You state that Gold, which is (Au) 196.97, #79 on the periodic table, is 1209 pounds per cubic foot. However, Lead is 207.2, #82 on the periodic table, is only 706 pounds per cubic foot. Why isn't Lead heavier per cubic foot than Gold since it's a heavier element?
Question Date: 2019-10-06
Answer 1:

You are correct: a single atom of lead is heavier than a single atom of gold. However, the radius of a lead atom is also larger than a gold atom (Pb: 180 picometers vs. Au: 135 picometers, webelements.com) So when multiple atoms combine to form the solid metals, the gold atoms can pack closer together than the lead ones. This means that in a given volume of gold, there are many more gold atoms than there would be lead atoms in an equal volume of lead- thus it is more dense.

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