Umm silver hasn't been used in circulating American coins since 1965, when The Mint Act of 1965 mandated the use of copper-nickel instead of silver.
Quarters, dimes, and half dollars are all cupro-nickel clad. Each coin has a copper core, and an outer layer, the "clad," made of 75% copper and 25% cupro-nickel alloy. So you're better off with just a pure copper heatsink.
Here is the official specification table for circulating US coinage. Silver is not on it:
If you can find some OLD pennies from before 1979 you can have copper.
Yes, we had a couple problems, the silver value of silver money was preventing inflation, so Kenedy took us off the "silver standard". Then it looked like the copper value of pennies would again restrict inflation, so before that could happen Carter took us off the Copper standard.
And the person responsible for taking us off the Gold standard? FDR. See any patterns?
<font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
if I wanted to weld and/or melt and mold my own super-heatsinks
Oooo, that does sound like a very interesting problem. You could simulate heat conduction, you know?... Things get interesting... copper is probably the most acceptable thing to do so. The first thing I'd think of is electrical cables! They're all made of copper. However, copper melts at 1083 degrees Celsius... that's not easy to achieve and control, unless you have some equipment... Would make an excellent hobby, mind you.
BTW, it might be possible to build (I wouldn't be capable to, but someone with adequate gear might) a super-heatsink - like that fanless P4 cooler (I'll give you a link later... I even forgot its name...) - that is silent. It probably requires thin layers of copper, properly distributed, and is not easy to make... but it's a very interesting problem!
As for other materials... Zink might be interesting. It has got reasonably good heat conduction, and melts at 419 degrees Celsius.
But you know what? Maybe Tin! I once had a candle that was made out of Tin, and I - for some reason - put the thing on a stove or something. The damned metal melts at a lousy 230 degrees Celsius - however, I think it's also hazardous to human health. Oh yes, what a stupid thing to do, melt such a metal on a stove... But, well, we cleaned up and still cooked on that stove and we're still alive and well (as far as we can tell). I saw it melt very quickly, and it also got solid quickly! I don't know about its heat conduction properties, though... I'm tired for now, but I will be back to this thread tomorrow... just for some more fun... :smile:
how could you possibly think dimes were made out of real silver...jesh...
Anyhow since we are talking about good science experiments here is mine (unrelated to heatsinks tho). Ok get a modern penny...poke it with a needle till the needle chips the plating...make sure the chip is small...but the coin in a bath of HCL in a beer bottle or snapple bottle...something...put a balloon on the top of the bottle. Then wait 30 min. and you get 2 things...a balloon filed with hydrogen (pyros delight) AND best of all you get a hollow penny. Zinc is broken down by HCL (very violently) it releases H2...however copper is immune to this reaction...so you are just left with the outside of the penny.