Mercury Facts

Mercury Facts
Mercury (Hg) has an atomic number of eighty. This silvery metal is a liquid at room temperature, the only metal to have that property, and historically is known as quicksilver.
Interesting Mercury Facts:
Mercury has been in use by ancient civilizations since before 2000BC.
It symbol comes from its historically used Latin name, hydrargyrum, meaning "liquid silver."
Tubes of mercury have been found in Egyptian tombs dating back to the early 1500s BC.
Civilizations as early as 500BC used mercury to create amalgams with other metals.
Due to ignorance of its toxic properties, both the Greeks and Romans used mercury in medical ointments and beauty products.
While the element bromine has a similar property at room temperature, mercury is the only metal to be a liquid under normal conditions.
Three other elements—caesium, gallium, and rubidium—are liquid at temperatures just above room temperature.
Mercury has the smallest temperature range of any metal, meaning that its freezing point (-38.8 degrees Celsius) and its boiling point (356 degrees Celsius) are the closest together.
The most common deposits globally that contain mercury are cinnabar deposits.
Mercury is exceptional in that it is a poor heat conductor, but a mild electrical conductor.
Due to its electron shell configuration, mercury acts very similar to the noble gases, whose solids melt at fairly low temperatures.
Like the noble gases, mercury forms very weak bonds due to its electron states.
Whereas almost all metals can form amalgams with mercury, iron is the only notable exception.
For this reason, mercury was stored and transported in iron flasks.
This propensity to form amalgams makes solid sulfur the ideal choice for cleaning up mercury spills and preventing the spread of its toxic vapors.
Mercury has seven stable isotopes and numerous radioisotopes.
One of mercury's radioactive isotopes, Hg-180, was discovered in 2010 to be able to produce a little known form of spontaneous fission.
Mercury is extremely rare, found in the Earth's crust at a concentration of only 0.08 parts per million.
Mercury has long been used in thermometers and dental fillings, and its gaseous form is used in fluorescent lights.
Due to health concerns, mercury's applications are slowly being replaced by less toxic materials.

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