The Netherlands is a country located in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian. The six largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Tilburg. Amsterdam is the country's capital, while The Hague holds the seat of the States General and Supreme Court; the Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, the largest in any country outside Asia. The country is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union.
It hosts several intergovernmental organisations and international courts, many of which are centered in The Hague, dubbed'the world's legal capital'. Netherlands means'lower countries' in reference to its low elevation and flat topography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding 1 metre above sea level, nearly 17% falling below sea level. Most of the areas below sea level, known as polders, are the result of land reclamation that began in the 16th century. With a population of 17.30 million people, all living within a total area of 41,500 square kilometres —of which the land area is 33,700 square kilometres —the Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. It is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products, owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, intensive agriculture; the Netherlands was the third country in the world to have representative government, it has been a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a unitary structure since 1848.
The country has a tradition of pillarisation and a long record of social tolerance, having legalised abortion and human euthanasia, along with maintaining a progressive drug policy. The Netherlands abolished the death penalty in 1870, allowed women's suffrage in 1917, became the world's first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001, its mixed-market advanced economy had the thirteenth-highest per capita income globally. The Netherlands ranks among the highest in international indexes of press freedom, economic freedom, human development, quality of life, as well as happiness; the Netherlands' turbulent history and shifts of power resulted in exceptionally many and varying names in different languages. There is diversity within languages; this holds for English, where Dutch is the adjective form and the misnomer Holland a synonym for the country "Netherlands". Dutch comes from Theodiscus and in the past centuries, the hub of Dutch culture is found in its most populous region, home to the capital city of Amsterdam.
Referring to the Netherlands as Holland in the English language is similar to calling the United Kingdom "Britain" by people outside the UK. The term is so pervasive among potential investors and tourists, that the Dutch government's international websites for tourism and trade are "holland.com" and "hollandtradeandinvest.com". The region of Holland consists of North and South Holland, two of the nation's twelve provinces a single province, earlier still, the County of Holland, a remnant of the dissolved Frisian Kingdom. Following the decline of the Duchy of Brabant and the County of Flanders, Holland became the most economically and politically important county in the Low Countries region; the emphasis on Holland during the formation of the Dutch Republic, the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo-Dutch Wars in the 16th, 17th and 18th century, made Holland serve as a pars pro toto for the entire country, now considered either incorrect, informal, or, depending on context, opprobrious. Nonetheless, Holland is used in reference to the Netherlands national football team.
The region called the Low Countries and the Country of the Netherlands. Place names with Neder, Nieder and Nedre and Bas or Inferior are in use in places all over Europe, they are sometimes used in a deictic relation to a higher ground that consecutively is indicated as Upper, Oben, Superior or Haut. In the case of the Low Countries / Netherlands the geographical location of the lower region has been more or less downstream and near the sea; the geographical location of the upper region, changed tremendously over time, depending on the location of the economic and military power governing the Low Countries area. The Romans made a distinction between the Roman provinces of downstream Germania Inferior and upstream Germania Superior; the designation'Low' to refer to the region returns again in the 10th century Duchy of Lower Lorraine, that covered much of the Low Countries. But this time the corresponding Upper region is Upper Lorraine, in nowadays Northern France; the Dukes of Burgundy, who ruled the Low Countries in the 15th century, used the term les pays de par deçà for the Low Countries as opposed to les pays de par delà for their original
Ålesund is a town and municipality in Møre og Romsdal County, Norway. It is part of the centre of the Ålesund Region, it is noted for its concentration of Art Nouveau architecture. The town of Ålesund is the administrative centre of Ålesund Municipality, as well as the principal shipping town of the Sunnmøre district; the 99-square-kilometre municipality is the 382nd largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. Ålesund is the 17th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 47,199. The municipality's population density is 506.6 inhabitants per square kilometre and its population has increased by 14% over the last decade. The greater Ålesund urban area has a population of 56,223; the port of Ålesund was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838. It was surrounded by Borgund Municipality; the port of Ålesund received town rights in 1848. On 1 January 1875, part of Borgund Municipality was transferred to the town of Ålesund. In 1922, another part of Borgund Municipality was transferred to the town of Ålesund.
On 1 January 1968, most of the neighbouring municipality of Borgund was merged into Ålesund. This merger more than doubled the population of Ålesund, for a new total population of 38,589. On 1 January 1977, the island of Sula and some small surrounding islets were separated from Ålesund to form the new Sula Municipality. On 1 January 2020, the municipality of Ålesund is scheduled to be merged with Haram Municipality, Skodje Municipality, Sandøy Municipality, Ørskog Municipality to form one large municipality of Ålesund. A part of the town was known as Kaupangen Borgund; the Old Norse word kaupang means "marketplace" or "town", thus the market town for Borgund. The Old Norse form of the current name was Álasund; the first element of, the plural genitive case of áll which means "eel" and the last element is sund which means "strait" or "sound". Before 1921, the name was written Aalesund; the coat-of-arms was granted on 1 April 1898. The arms symbolize the importance of fishing for the town; the type of ship was typical for the ships used in the 18th and 19th century and is taken from a drawing made in 1762.
The waves and fish were added to the drawing in the arms. The arms are shown in the Kaffe Hag album with the boat sailing right instead of sailing left; the Church of Norway has five parishes within the municipality of Ålesund. It is part of the Nordre Sunnmøre deanery in the Diocese of Møre; the seat of the deanery is at Ålesund Church. Legend has it that Gangerolf, the 10th-century founder of the dynasty of the dukes of Normandy, hailed from the community of Giske, north-west of Ålesund. At least three statues of Rolle exist: in the town park in Ålesund, in the city of Rouen, in Fargo, North Dakota, United States. In 1835, Ålesund had 482 inhabitants. By 1900, the population had increased to 11,777. In the night of 23 January 1904, the town was the scene of the Ålesund Fire, one of the most terrible of the many conflagrations to which Norwegian towns, once built of wood, have been subjected; the entire town was destroyed during the night, a gale aiding the flames, the population had to leave the town in the middle of the night with only a few minutes' notice.
Only one person died in the fire, the 76-year-old Ane Heen, but more than 10,000 people were left without shelter. Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany had been on vacation to Sunnmøre. After the fire, he sent four warships with materials to build temporary barracks. After a period of planning, the town was rebuilt in stone and mortar in Jugendstil, the architectural style of the time; the structures were designed by 20 master builders and 30 Norwegian architects, most of them educated in Trondheim and Charlottenburg, drawing inspiration from all over Europe. To honor Wilhelm, one of the most frequented streets of the town is named after him; the town has an unusually consistent architecture, most of the buildings having been built between 1904 and 1907. Jugendstilsenteret is a national interpretation centre, visitors can learn more about the town fire, the rebuilding of the town and the Art Nouveau style. Ålesund is a partner in the Art nouveau network, a European network of co-operation created in 1999 for the study and development of the Art nouveau.
The term "Little London" was applied to the community during the occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany due to the Norwegian resistance work that took place here. Among other things, the city was central to the flights to England; the municipality of Ålesund occupies seven of the outer islands in the county of Møre og Romsdal: Hessa, Aspøya, Nørvøya, Oksenøya, Ellingsøya, Tørla. The town centre is located on the islands Aspøya and Nørvøya, while Heissa and Oksnøya contain residential areas; the second largest island, Ellingsøya, used to be accessible only by boat or by road via Skodje Municipality, but the undersea Ellingsøy Tunnel was built in 1987 to make traveling between the island and the town centre more convenient. The tunnel is 3,481 metres long, was upgraded in 2009. Situated 236 kilometres north northeast of the city of Bergen, Ålesund is adjacent to the Hjørund and Geiranger fjords, the latter being on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites; the municipality covers an area of 93 square kilometres.
The population is 47,199, making the population density of 506.6 inh
Volda is the administrative centre of Volda Municipality in Møre og Romsdal county, Norway. The village is located on the northeastern shore of the Voldsfjorden, just less than 10 kilometres south of the village of Ørsta; the 3.6-square-kilometre village has a population of 6,114. Volda University College is one of 25 university colleges in Norway. Volda University College enrolls about 3,000 students and specializes in education of teachers, animators and journalists; the village is home to the municipal administration, municipal schools, the regional hospital. It has a shopping center as well as some industry. Volda Church is located in the central part of the village; the local newspaper is Avisa Møre. The Ørsta-Volda Airport, Hovden lies between the two villages of Volda and Ørsta, along the European route E39 highway which runs through both villages. There are ferry connections from Volda to Lauvstad and Folkestad, across the Voldsfjorden
Utrecht is the fourth-largest city and a municipality of the Netherlands and most populous city of the province of Utrecht. It is located in the eastern corner of the Randstad conurbation, in the centre of mainland Netherlands, had a population of 345,080 in 2017. Utrecht's ancient city centre features many buildings and structures several dating as far back as the High Middle Ages, it has been the religious centre of the Netherlands since the 8th century. It remains the main religious centre in the country. Utrecht was the most important city in the Netherlands until the Dutch Golden Age, when it was surpassed by Amsterdam as the country's cultural centre and most populous city. Utrecht is host to Utrecht University, the largest university in the Netherlands, as well as several other institutions of higher education. Due to its central position within the country, it is an important transport hub for both rail and road transport, it has the second highest number of cultural events after Amsterdam.
In 2012, Lonely Planet included Utrecht in the top 10 of the world's unsung places. Although there is some evidence of earlier inhabitation in the region of Utrecht, dating back to the Stone Age and settling in the Bronze Age, the founding date of the city is related to the construction of a Roman fortification built in around 50 CE. A series of such fortresses was built after the Roman emperor Claudius decided the empire should not expand north. To consolidate the border, the Limes Germanicus defense line was constructed along the main branch of the river Rhine, which at that time flowed through a more northern bed compared to today; these fortresses were designed to house a cohort of about 500 Roman soldiers. Near the fort, settlements would grow housing artisans and soldiers' wives and children. In Roman times, the name of the Utrecht fortress was Traiectum, denoting its location at a possible Rhine crossing. Traiectum became Dutch Trecht. In 11th-century official documents, it was Latinized as Ultra Traiectum.
Around the year 200, the wooden walls of the fortification were replaced by sturdier tuff stone walls, remnants of which are still to be found below the buildings around Dom Square. From the middle of the 3rd century, Germanic tribes invaded the Roman territories. Around 275 the Romans could no longer maintain the northern border and Utrecht was abandoned. Little is known about the next period 270–650. Utrecht is first spoken of again several centuries. Under the influence of the growing realms of the Franks, during Dagobert I's reign in the 7th century, a church was built within the walls of the Roman fortress. In ongoing border conflicts with the Frisians, this first church was destroyed. By the mid-7th century and Irish missionaries set out to convert the Frisians. Pope Sergius I appointed Saint Willibrordus, as bishop of the Frisians; the tenure of Willibrordus is considered to be the beginning of the Bishopric of Utrecht. In 723, the Frankish leader Charles Martel bestowed the fortress in Utrecht and the surrounding lands as the base of the bishops.
From on Utrecht became one of the most influential seats of power for the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands. The archbishops of Utrecht were based at the uneasy northern border of the Carolingian Empire. In addition, the city of Utrecht had competition from the nearby trading centre Dorestad. After the fall of Dorestad around 850, Utrecht became one of the most important cities in the Netherlands; the importance of Utrecht as a centre of Christianity is illustrated by the election of the Utrecht-born Adriaan Florenszoon Boeyens as pope in 1522. When the Frankish rulers established the system of feudalism, the Bishops of Utrecht came to exercise worldly power as prince-bishops; the territory of the bishopric not only included the modern province of Utrecht, but extended to the northeast. The feudal conflict of the Middle Ages affected Utrecht; the prince-bishopric was involved in continuous conflicts with the Counts of Holland and the Dukes of Guelders. The Veluwe region was seized by Guelders, but large areas in the modern province of Overijssel remained as the Oversticht.
Several churches and monasteries were built inside, or close to, the city of Utrecht. The most dominant of these was the Cathedral of Saint Martin, inside the old Roman fortress; the construction of the present Gothic building was begun in 1254 after an earlier romanesque construction had been badly damaged by fire. The choir and transept were finished from 1320 and were followed by the ambitious Dom tower; the last part to be constructed was the central nave, from 1420. By that time, the age of the great cathedrals had come to an end and declining finances prevented the ambitious project from being finished, the construction of the central nave being suspended before the planned flying buttresses could be finished. Besides the cathedral there were four collegiate churches in Utrecht: St. Salvator's Church, on the Dom square, dating back to the early 8th century. Saint John, originating in 1040. Besides these churches, the city housed St. Paul's Abbey, the 15th-century beguinage of St. Nicholas, a 14th-century chapter house of the Teutonic Knights.
The European shag or common shag is a species of cormorant. It breeds around the rocky coasts of western and southern Europe, southwest Asia and north Africa wintering in its breeding range except for the northernmost birds. In Britain this seabird is referred to as the shag; the scientific genus name is Latinised Ancient Greek, from φαλακρός and κόραξ. The species name aristotelis commemorates the Greek philosopher Aristotle; this is a medium-large black bird, 68 to 78 cm long and with a 95-to-110-centimetre wingspan. It has yellow throat-patch. Adults have a small crest in the breeding season, it is distinguished from the great cormorant by its smaller size, lighter build, thinner bill, and, in breeding adults, by the crest and metallic green-tinged sheen on the feathers. Among those differences are that a shag has a narrower beak; the European shag's tail has the great cormorant's 14 feathers. The green sheen on the feathers results in the alternative name green cormorant sometimes being given to the European shag.
It feeds in the sea, unlike the great cormorant, is rare inland. It will winter along any coast, well-supplied with fish; the European shag is one of the deepest divers among the cormorant family. Using depth gauges, European shags have been shown to dive to at least 45 m. European shags are preponderantly benthic feeders, i.e. they find their prey on the sea bottom. They will eat a wide range of fish but their commonest prey is the sand eel. Shags will travel many kilometres from their roosting sites. In UK coastal waters, dive times are around 20 to 45 seconds, with a recovery time of around 15 seconds between dives; when they dive, they jump out of the water first to give extra impetus to the dive. It breeds on coasts, nesting in crevices or small caves; the nests are untidy heaps of rotting seaweed or twigs cemented together by the bird's own guano. The nesting season is long, beginning in late February but some nests not started until May or later. Three eggs are laid, their chicks hatch without down and so they rely on their parents for warmth for a period of two months before they can fly.
Fledging may occur at any time from early June to late August, exceptionally to mid-October. The shag is a pursuit-diving seabird. Due to the relative ease with which diet samples can be collected from this species and the perceived conflict between the Phalacrocoracidae and fisheries, shag diet competition has been the subject of substantial scientific interest. Evidence collected at one colony, the Isle of May, between 1985 and 2014, suggests that shag chick diet composition in this population has diversified in response to ocean warming. Shags feed on fewer sandeel on windy days due to the strong effect of wind on flight in this species; the year-round diet of full-grown shags at this colony has over the past 3 decades, from sandeel specialists to an diverse prey base. There are three subspecies: P. a. aristotelis –: nominate, found in northwestern Europe P. a. desmarestii –: found in southern Europe, southwest Asia P. a. riggenbachi – Hartert, 1923: found in northwest African coastThe subspecies differ in bill size and the breast and leg colour of young birds.
Recent evidence suggests that birds on the Atlantic coast of southwest Europe are distinct from all three, may be an as-yet undescribed subspecies. The name shag is used in the Southern Hemisphere for several additional species of cormorants; the European shag can be be seen at the following breeding locations in the season: Saltee Islands, Ireland. In April 2017, eight new European shags were born in Monaco; the largest colony of European shags is in the Cíes Islands, with 2,500 pairs. European shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis at Joint Nature Conservation Committee Phalacrocorax aristotelis Stamps at bird-stamps.org BirdLife species factsheet for Phalacrocorax aristotelis "Phalacrocorax aristotelis". Avibase. "European shag media". Internet Bird Collection. European shag photo gallery at VIREO Interactive range map of Phalacrocorax aristotelis at IUCN Red List maps Audio recordings of European shag on Xeno-canto
Sweden the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres, Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre; the highest concentration is in the southern half of the country. Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats and Swedes and constituting the sea peoples known as the Norsemen. Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is forested. Sweden is part of the geographical area of Fennoscandia; the climate is in general mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence, that in spite of this still retains warm continental summers.
Today, the sovereign state of Sweden is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with a monarch as head of state, like its neighbour Norway. The capital city is Stockholm, the most populous city in the country. Legislative power is vested in the 349-member unicameral Riksdag. Executive power is exercised by the government chaired by the prime minister. Sweden is a unitary state divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities. An independent Swedish state emerged during the early 12th century. After the Black Death in the middle of the 14th century killed about a third of the Scandinavian population, the Hanseatic League threatened Scandinavia's culture and languages; this led to the forming of the Scandinavian Kalmar Union in 1397, which Sweden left in 1523. When Sweden became involved in the Thirty Years War on the Reformist side, an expansion of its territories began and the Swedish Empire was formed; this became one of the great powers of Europe until the early 18th century. Swedish territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were lost during the 18th and 19th centuries, ending with the annexation of present-day Finland by Russia in 1809.
The last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Norway was militarily forced into personal union. Since Sweden has been at peace, maintaining an official policy of neutrality in foreign affairs; the union with Norway was peacefully dissolved in 1905. Sweden was formally neutral through both world wars and the Cold War, albeit Sweden has since 2009 moved towards cooperation with NATO. After the end of the Cold War, Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995, but declined NATO membership, as well as Eurozone membership following a referendum, it is a member of the United Nations, the Nordic Council, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Sweden maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens, it has the world's eleventh-highest per capita income and ranks in numerous metrics of national performance, including quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, economic competitiveness, equality and human development.
The name Sweden was loaned from Dutch in the 17th century to refer to Sweden as an emerging great power. Before Sweden's imperial expansion, Early Modern English used Swedeland. Sweden is derived through back-formation from Old English Swēoþēod, which meant "people of the Swedes"; this word is derived from Sweon/Sweonas. The Swedish name Sverige means "realm of the Swedes", excluding the Geats in Götaland. Variations of the name Sweden are used in most languages, with the exception of Danish and Norwegian using Sverige, Faroese Svøríki, Icelandic Svíþjóð, the more notable exception of some Finnic languages where Ruotsi and Rootsi are used, names considered as referring to the people from the coastal areas of Roslagen, who were known as the Rus', through them etymologically related to the English name for Russia; the etymology of Swedes, thus Sweden, is not agreed upon but may derive from Proto-Germanic Swihoniz meaning "one's own", referring to one's own Germanic tribe. Sweden's prehistory begins in the Allerød oscillation, a warm period around 12,000 BC, with Late Palaeolithic reindeer-hunting camps of the Bromme culture at the edge of the ice in what is now the country's southernmost province, Scania.
This period was characterised by small bands of hunter-gatherer-fishers using flint technology. Sweden is first described in a written source in Germania by Tacitus in 98 AD. In Germania 44 and 45 he mentions the Swedes as a powerful tribe with ships that had a prow at each end. Which kings ruled these Suiones is unknown, but Norse mythology presents a long line of legendary and semi-legendary kings going back to the last centuries BC; as for literacy in Sweden itself, the runic script was in use among the south Scandinavian elite by at least the 2nd century AD, but all that has come down to the present from the Roman Period is curt inscriptions on artefacts of male names, demonstrating th
Gold is a chemical element with symbol Au and atomic number 79, making it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally. In its purest form, it is a bright reddish yellow, soft and ductile metal. Chemically, gold is a group 11 element, it is solid under standard conditions. Gold occurs in free elemental form, as nuggets or grains, in rocks, in veins, in alluvial deposits, it occurs in a solid solution series with the native element silver and naturally alloyed with copper and palladium. Less it occurs in minerals as gold compounds with tellurium. Gold is resistant to most acids, though it does dissolve in aqua regia, a mixture of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid, which forms a soluble tetrachloroaurate anion. Gold is insoluble in nitric acid, which dissolves silver and base metals, a property that has long been used to refine gold and to confirm the presence of gold in metallic objects, giving rise to the term acid test. Gold dissolves in alkaline solutions of cyanide, which are used in mining and electroplating.
Gold dissolves in mercury, forming amalgam alloys. A rare element, gold is a precious metal, used for coinage and other arts throughout recorded history. In the past, a gold standard was implemented as a monetary policy, but gold coins ceased to be minted as a circulating currency in the 1930s, the world gold standard was abandoned for a fiat currency system after 1971. A total of 186,700 tonnes of gold exists above ground, as of 2015; the world consumption of new gold produced is about 50% in jewelry, 40% in investments, 10% in industry. Gold's high malleability, resistance to corrosion and most other chemical reactions, conductivity of electricity have led to its continued use in corrosion resistant electrical connectors in all types of computerized devices. Gold is used in infrared shielding, colored-glass production, gold leafing, tooth restoration. Certain gold salts are still used as anti-inflammatories in medicine; as of 2017, the world's largest gold producer by far was China with 440 tonnes per year.
Gold is the most malleable of all metals. It can be drawn into a monoatomic wire, stretched about twice before it breaks; such nanowires distort via formation and migration of dislocations and crystal twins without noticeable hardening. A single gram of gold can be beaten into a sheet of 1 square meter, an avoirdupois ounce into 300 square feet. Gold leaf can be beaten thin enough to become semi-transparent; the transmitted light appears greenish blue, because gold reflects yellow and red. Such semi-transparent sheets strongly reflect infrared light, making them useful as infrared shields in visors of heat-resistant suits, in sun-visors for spacesuits. Gold is a good conductor of electricity. Gold has a density of 19.3 g/cm3 identical to that of tungsten at 19.25 g/cm3. By comparison, the density of lead is 11.34 g/cm3, that of the densest element, osmium, is 22.588±0.015 g/cm3. Whereas most metals are gray or silvery white, gold is reddish-yellow; this color is determined by the frequency of plasma oscillations among the metal's valence electrons, in the ultraviolet range for most metals but in the visible range for gold due to relativistic effects affecting the orbitals around gold atoms.
Similar effects impart a golden hue to metallic caesium. Common colored gold alloys include the distinctive eighteen-karat rose gold created by the addition of copper. Alloys containing palladium or nickel are important in commercial jewelry as these produce white gold alloys. Fourteen-karat gold-copper alloy is nearly identical in color to certain bronze alloys, both may be used to produce police and other badges. White gold alloys can be made with nickel. Fourteen- and eighteen-karat gold alloys with silver alone appear greenish-yellow and are referred to as green gold. Blue gold can be made by alloying with iron, purple gold can be made by alloying with aluminium. Less addition of manganese, aluminium and other elements can produce more unusual colors of gold for various applications. Colloidal gold, used by electron-microscopists, is red. Gold has only one stable isotope, 197Au, its only occurring isotope, so gold is both a mononuclidic and monoisotopic element. Thirty-six radioisotopes have been synthesized, ranging in atomic mass from 169 to 205.
The most stable of these is 195Au with a half-life of 186.1 days. The least stable is 171Au. Most of gold's radioisotopes with atomic masses below 197 decay by some combination of proton emission, α decay, β+ decay; the exceptions are 195Au, which decays by electron capture, 196Au, which decays most by electron capture with a minor β− decay path. All of gold's radioisotopes with atomic masses above 197 decay by β− decay. At least 32 nuclear isomers have been characterized, ranging in atomic mass from 170 to 200. Within that range, only 178Au, 180Au, 181Au, 182Au, 188Au do not have isomers. Gold's most stable isomer is 198m2Au with a half-life of 2.27 days. Gold's least stable isomer is 177m2Au with a half-life of only 7 ns. 184m1Au has three decay paths: β+ decay, isomeric