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Question
Hi Sir,

1) Discovery Channel..Gold on Earth was brought by asteroids and deposited on Earth. Earth does not "manufacture" Gold.Is this the same for the other elements as well..like copper, iron.lead..etc?

2)Soap and oil reduces the surface tension in water..how do they do it?

Thank You.

Answer
Well, the elements that formed the Earth were created in a supernova, just like the elements in asteroids.  Gold was formed in that supernova, it's a little strange to say that it was somehow brought to Earth by asteroids when it was also already here.  Earth is essentially a gigantic collection of asteroids, after all.  

Soap is a surfactant (polar end of the molecule towards the water, non-polar end towards the air).  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surfactant has some good information (look at the section on interactions on the surfaces).  However, the physics of soap bubbles is more pertinent to what you're looking for.  http://web.mit.edu/nnf/education/wettability/bubbles.html

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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson

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I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.

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I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

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Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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