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Mercury (element)

Chemical element, symbol Hg and atomic number 80 / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Mercury is a chemical element; it has symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver and was formerly named hydrargyrum (/hˈdrɑːrərəm/ hy-DRAR-jər-əm) from the Greek words hydor (water) and argyros (silver).[7] A heavy, silvery d-block element, mercury is the only metallic element that is known to be liquid at standard temperature and pressure; the only other element that is liquid under these conditions is the halogen bromine, though metals such as caesium, gallium, and rubidium melt just above room temperature.

Quick facts: Mercury, Appearance, Standard atomic weight ....
Mercury, 80Hg
Appearanceshiny, silvery liquid
Standard atomic weight Ar°(Hg)
Mercury in the periodic table


Atomic number (Z)80
Groupgroup 12
Periodperiod 6
Block  d-block
Electron configuration[Xe] 4f14 5d10 6s2
Electrons per shell2, 8, 18, 32, 18, 2
Physical properties
Phase at STPliquid
Melting point234.3210 K (−38.8290 °C, −37.8922 °F)
Boiling point629.88 K (356.73 °C, 674.11 °F)
Density (near r.t.)13.546[3] g/cm3
Triple point234.3156 K, 1.65×10−7 kPa
Critical point1750 K, 172.00 MPa
Heat of fusion2.29 kJ/mol
Heat of vaporization59.11 kJ/mol
Molar heat capacity27.983 J/(mol·K)
Vapor pressure
P (Pa) 1 10 100 1 k 10 k 100 k
at T (K) 315 350 393 449 523 629
Atomic properties
Oxidation states−2 , +1, +2 (a mildly basic oxide)
ElectronegativityPauling scale: 2.00
Ionization energies
  • 1st: 1007.1 kJ/mol
  • 2nd: 1810 kJ/mol
  • 3rd: 3300 kJ/mol
Atomic radiusempirical: 151 pm
Covalent radius132±5 pm
Van der Waals radius155 pm
Color lines in a spectral range
Spectral lines of mercury
Other properties
Natural occurrenceprimordial
Crystal structure rhombohedral
Rhombohedral crystal structure for mercury
Speed of soundliquid: 1451.4 m/s (at 20 °C)
Thermal expansion60.4 µm/(m⋅K) (at 25 °C)
Thermal conductivity8.30 W/(m⋅K)
Electrical resistivity961 nΩ⋅m (at 25 °C)
Magnetic orderingdiamagnetic[4]
Molar magnetic susceptibility−33.44×10−6 cm3/mol (293 K)[5]
CAS Number7439-97-6
DiscoveryAncient Egyptians (before 1500 BCE)
Symbol"Hg": from its Latin name hydrargyrum, itself from Greek hydrárgyros, 'water-silver'
Isotopes of mercury
Main isotopes[6] Decay
abun­dance half-life (t1/2) mode pro­duct
194Hg synth 444 y ε 194Au
195Hg synth 9.9 h ε 195Au
196Hg 0.15% stable
197Hg synth 64.14 h ε 197Au
198Hg 10.0% stable
199Hg 16.9% stable
200Hg 23.1% stable
201Hg 13.2% stable
202Hg 29.7% stable
203Hg synth 46.612 d β 203Tl
204Hg 6.82% stable
Symbol_category_class.svg Category: Mercury (element)
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Mercury occurs in deposits throughout the world mostly as cinnabar (mercuric sulfide). The red pigment vermilion is obtained by grinding natural cinnabar or synthetic mercuric sulfide. Exposure to mercury and mercury-containing organic compounds is toxic to the nervous system, immune system and kidneys of humans and other animals; mercury poisoning can result from exposure to water-soluble forms of mercury (such as mercuric chloride or methylmercury) either directly or through mechanisms of biomagnification.

Mercury is used in thermometers, barometers, manometers, sphygmomanometers, float valves, mercury switches, mercury relays, fluorescent lamps and other devices, although concerns about the element's toxicity have led to the phasing out of such mercury-containing instruments.[8] It remains in use in scientific research applications and in amalgam for dental restoration in some locales. It is also used in fluorescent lighting. Electricity passed through mercury vapor in a fluorescent lamp produces short-wave ultraviolet light, which then causes the phosphor in the tube to fluoresce, making visible light.

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