Now that we have divulged quite a bit of information about the element Mercury, it was about time that we explore its namesake element because of its very interesting nature. The mercury element is the only metal that remains a liquid at standard room temperature. It is mainly found in the form of ores the likes of corderoite, livingstonite, and cinnabar; the latter of them is more abundant. It has many usages because of its unique properties because of which we are going to find out facts list about the element mercury.
Facts List about the Element Mercury – Interesting
8. Combining Tendency
Mercury is rarely found as a free element because it easily forms amalgams with other metals like gold, cadmium, silver and aluminum. It is because of that fact that mercury is not allowed to be carried on air crafts because they are aluminum. Mercury bonds with the upper layer of aluminum to disrupt the outer layer of oxide causing the metal to corrode.
7. Commercial Applications
There are numerous commercial applications as well as research for which mercury is very useful in technology field. Although mercury is not the best conductor amongst metals, due to its liquid properties, it is used in position dependent switches. Mercury vapor is used in advertisement boards, street lights and even fluorescent lamps. It even has uses in cosmetics, dental fillings, and even vaccines.
The name of a Marvel superhero was first attributed to mercury because of its silvery liquid form. Mercury is sensitive to temperature and its liquid form moves with a mind of its own. Because of its high density and free movement under pressure and temperature, the ‘quicksilver’ is used in barometer and thermometer. One of the most interesting facts about the element mercury is that it is even used in sphygmomanometer to measure blood pressure.
Even though it the element has various applications, it is still one of the rarest elements in the world. Its occurrence in earth’s crust is 0.08 parts per million or 85 parts per billion. It is ranked the 67th most abundant element on the planet on a par with the actual element silver.
4. Name and Origin
Mercury has been present and known for past few millennia. Even the ancient Egyptians had records of using mercury in various objects. One of the amazing facts about the element mercury is that it is named after a Greek God just as the first planet to the earth. Mercury’s element symbol is Hg, and it is an abbreviation for another name for the element; Hydrargyrum which means ‘water-silver’.
3. Conduction Properties
Mercury is a decent conductor of electricity but its ability to conduct heat leaves a lot to be desired. It is surprising because of the fact that most metals have excellent heat conduction properties. Mercury attains the properties of a superconductor if the metal is cooled down to absolute zero.
2. Dangerous to Health
The term mercury poisoning refers to the ingestion of mercury in the body through air, digestive tract or even the skin as even a small amount can be fatal to humans. Mercury is highly toxic, and its presence in the body immediately sets itself on destroying the nervous system. Even if ingested in a very small quantity in a pregnant woman to not cause them harm, it can still affect the baby direly.
1. It’s Not Wet
One of the most, if not the most, astonishing facts about the element mercury is that despite being a liquid at room temperature, it is not wet. Because of its negative coefficient of surface tension, it does not absorb in other substances like all other liquids. The convex meniscus of mercury is also exactly opposite to that of a conventional liquid.
Mercury is a useful element, but it can also cause harm to the body. That is the reason this element should be handled with great care.