• Sept. 18, page 16. Vitamin C was incorrectly identified as citric acid. It is ascorbic acid.

    Oct. 9, page 12. The article on brain chemistry should have included the following reference information for the work cited: Science 2006, 314, 130.

Volume 84 Issue 43 | p. 4 | Letters
Issue Date: October 23, 2006

Alchemy and gold

Department: Letters

Thanks for your interesting articles on the recent Philadelphia conference on alchemy, including "Crucible Secrets" by Ivan Amato (C&EN, Aug. 14, page 56). Potassium nitrate is known to gold fire assayers as "niter" and is used to oxidize sulfur in order to reduce the amount of metallic lead produced to collect the gold during fusion, not to reduce the gold melting temperature as stated in the article. Contrary to popular belief, much of the world's gold is produced from "fools gold" or iron pyrite, which is also notorious for producing acid mine drainage, one of our industry's major environmental issues.

Charles H. Bucknam
Englewood, Colo.

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