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I hope it's not plagiarism if you cite and reference, however I just thought I'd ask you anyway. A group of university students are doing a report on 'cold working and annealing of copper', and I would like to use part of your article "Chemistry of the Group 11 Elements - Copper, Silver and Gold." as a foreword, namely the below section, so cited and referenced. We are merely first years, and are learning how to reference properly at the same time (obliged to use Harvard). It is also made clear to us that quality information (name, date, peer review etc) is important. I thought this reference would make the lecturer marking laugh a bit whilst at the same providing a genuine reference to quality information. I'm hoping to provide a new source of information they haven't come across yet (not wikipedia basically). They're always moaning about cut 'n paste. Are you ok with that? I hope you take it for the compliment I intend it.
"Discovery and Refinement of the Elements
Gold, silver and copper were the first metals that early humans came across. They would have been found in streambeds and rivers, washed out of the rocks. They are called 'native' metals, because they are sufficiently unreactive to be found in the ground in their elemental forms. The more reactive metals combine with non-metals, especially oxygen and sulphur, in rocks called 'ores'. (However, small amounts of unreacted iron have been found in the form of meteorites. This was discovered by the North American Indians long before anyone learned how to smelt iron from its ore).
The first discovery of metals may have been as long ago as 8000 BC, but another 2,000 years passed before man learned how to smelt copper and tin from their ores. This discovery may have been made accidentally by someone using a circle of stones to contain a fire. If the stones had happened to contain copper and/or tin compounds, the metals would flow out as liquids and quickly harden into lumps.
The Bronze Age started when copper and tin were mixed, probably accidentally, to make the alloy we now know as bronze - a much harder metal than either copper or tin alone. Bronzes of differing hardnesses could be made by mixing together different proportions of copper and tin and, because of this, bronze became the most important metal of its time.
However, finding the copper and tin was still a problem. Once found, mining it was laborious, difficult and dangerous. The process was simplified when early man realised that he could light a fire under metal-bearing rock. Once the rock was red hot, he could crack it open by pouring cold water over it.
The process was further refined when early man realised that the metals could be even more easily extracted from their ores if charcoal, from burned wooden embers, was mixed in with the ores before heating. This meant the fire could reach sufficiently high temperatures to extract iron from its ores, catapulting man into the Iron Age in around 2000 BC."
(BigAl - Keeper of the Glowing Pickle and Blue Banana, 2007)
BigAl - Keeper of the Glowing Pickle and Blue Banana, Patron Saint of Left Handers (2007) Chemistry of the Group 11 Elements - Copper, Silver and Gold. [Online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A20074529 (accessed: 12Th November 2009)
Yes, I'm fine with that - and I do take that as a compliment
(As you may notice from my PS, I am involved in teaching degree students and Access to H.E. students, and so expect Harvard referencing.
As you say, actually CITING wiki is frowned upon, but it is a convenient way into the primary literature as academic references are often given - and then you cite the proper journals )