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This idea is from Hanger 1, the UFO Files: advanced alien technology that ended up on Earth. Purportedly, a sample of this gold/silver material changed to titanium and molybdenum when heated. Any suggestions on describing the science in a story?
They also unearthed minute pins with precisely wrapped coils (http://www.ancient-origins.net/unexplained-phenomena/ancient-nanostructures-found-ural-mountains-are-out-place-and-time-002046).

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    $\begingroup$ A gold and silver alloy transmutated into titanium and molybdenum? If that is possible it's a technology so advanced it's indistinguishable from magic. Seriously, it's magic. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 2:42
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding, Artidan22, Gold, silver, titanium & molybdenum are elements. They are absolutely unlikely to transform into one another by heating them. Nucleosynthesis (see L.Dutch's answer) can transmute elements inside stars and as a result of a supernova. Just heating won't do that. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 5:29

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Gold, silver, titanium & molybdenum are elements. They are absolutely unlikely to transform into one another by heating them. Because the only process that transmutes elements is nucleosynthesis. This happens inside stars and involves massive temperatures, pressures and energies. Supernovas are also involved in nuclear transmutation. This is impossible with ordinary heating.

If this is a nanomaterial it's conceivable it might be a substance that resembles gold or silver and on heating changes into something resembles titanium or molybdenum.

This wouldn't involve nucleosynthesis or transmutation. Such a nanomaterial could be a complex composite of ordinary elements and compounds amalgamated together to enable changing from, for example, a gold-like material into titanium-like when heated. Perhaps the faux titanium might change into molybdenum-like substance on being heated to a higher temperature.

Remember these nanomaterials only resemble gold, silver, titanium and molybdenum. While they may behave as if that is what they are, the materials only resemble their elemental counterparts.

You are welcome to devise how and what nanomaterials changes into whatever substance is suitable for your story.

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Such a process exists, and it's normally called nucleosynthesis.

Energetic enough atomic nuclei (Temperature of some million K) hit each other and combine, changing the resulting material.

It normally happens in those objects known as star or supernovae.

Humans do it on smaller scale in particle accelerators, but only with few atoms per time.

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  • $\begingroup$ well, thanks, at least it exists...didn't anyone see this on "Ancient Aliens?" not the best source for facts, but odd ones for sure. $\endgroup$
    – Artidan22
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 3:34
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Realistically, we already have things sort of like that. Others have mentioned nucleosynthesis through fusion/fission, where the elements the material is composed from changes (but this involves immense amounts of energy). But there are other processes that, to a layman, can look like the material becomes totally different.

The easiest example would probably be heat breaking an unstable chemical bond (thermolysis), turning one compound into others. Usually you would get a color change and some part of the material escaping as a gas.

Another way would be a phase transition (note: these are reversible, so if you cool the material back down, it goes back to it's original state), like ice melting into water. A good example would be something like liquid crystals, the different phases of which interact with light differently. Or the lipid bilayer phase transition rapidly making it more fluid and flexible.

For something even cooler, look into low temperature phenomena like superconductivity and superfluidity or even into "negative temperature" systems.

With a fictional nano-material the effects of most of these can be made fairly spectacular while still sounding plausible. Have fun worldbuilding!

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