Mercury

Hg

History:

Named after the planet "Mercury" (the origin of the symbol Hg is the Latin word "hydrargyrum" meaning "liquid silver").

Mercury has been found in 3500 year old Egyptian tombs. (1500 BC)

5 Uses:

  • Making of thermometers, barometers and other scientific instruments.
  • Used to make silent, position dependent switches. (electrical instruments)
  • Its vapour is used in streetlights, fluorescent lamps and advertising signs.
  • Used in pesticides, dental work and batteries.
  • The most important use of mercury is in the preparation of chlorine. (Chlorine is produced by passing an electric current through sodium chloride)

Properties

Atomic Number: 80

Atomic Weight: 200.59

Melting Point: -38.83°C or -37.89°F

Boiling Point: 356.73°C or 674.11°F

Density: 13.5336 g/cubic centimeter

Phase at Room Temperature: Liquid

Element Classification: Metal

Period Number: 6 Group Number: 12

Characteristics

The only metal liquid.

Highly Toxic

Good electrical conductor

It has very high surface tension.

It does not react with oxygen in the air