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mercury (Hg), additionally called quicksilver, chemistry element, liquid metal of team 12 (IIb, or zinc group) of the routine table.

Properties, uses, and also occurrence

Mercury was well-known in Egypt and additionally probably in the east as early on as 1500 bce. The surname mercury source in 6th-century alchemy, in i beg your pardon the price of the planet was provided to stand for the metal; the chemistry symbol Hg derives from the Latin hydrargyrum, “liquid silver.” back its toxicity was known at an early date, its key application was for medical purposes.


The periodic table is comprised of 118 elements. How well carry out you recognize their symbols? In this quiz you’ll be displayed all 118 chemical symbols, and you’ll require to select the name of the chemical element that each one represents.

Mercury is the just elemental steel that is liquid at room temperature. (Cesium melts at around 28.5 °C <83 °F>, gallium at about 30 °C <86 °F>, and also rubidium at around 39 °C <102 °F>.) Mercury is silvery white, slowly tarnishes in moist air, and freezes right into a soft solid favor tin or lead at −38.83 °C (−37.89 °F). That boils at 356.62 °C (673.91 °F).


It alloys v copper, tin, and also zinc to form amalgams, or fluid alloys. An amalgam v silver is supplied as a pour it until it is full in dentistry. Mercury does no wet glass or cling come it, and this property, coupled through its rapid and uniform volume development throughout its liquid range, made it helpful in thermometers. (Mercury thermometers were supplanted by much more accurate digital digital thermometers in the early on 21st century.) Barometers and manometers also used its high density and low vapour pressure. However, mercury’s toxicity has led to its replacement in these instruments. Gold and silver dissolve conveniently in mercury, and in the previous this building was offered in the exploit of these steels from your ores.

The great electrical conductivity of mercury provides it exceptionally useful in sealed electrical switches and also relays. An electric discharge with mercury vapour contained in a unify silica pipe or pear produces a bluish glow well-off in ultraviolet light, a phenomenon exploited in ultraviolet, fluorescent, and high-pressure mercury-vapour lamps. Some mercury is supplied in the ready of pharmaceuticals and farming and commercial fungicides.

In the 20th century the use of mercury in the produce of chlorine and sodium hydroxide by electrolysis that brine depended on the reality that mercury employed as the negative pole, or cathode, disappear the salt liberated to kind a fluid amalgam. In the beforehand 21st century, however, mercury-cell plants for manufacturing chlorine and sodium hydroxide have actually mostly been phased out.

Mercury occurs in earth crust ~ above the average of around 0.08 gram (0.003 ounce) every ton of rock. The major ore is the red sulfide, cinnabar. Native mercury occurs in diverted drops and also occasionally in larger liquid masses, usually v cinnabar, close to volcanoes or warm springs. Very rare natural alloys of mercury have also been found: moschellandsbergite (with silver), potarite (with palladium), and gold amalgam. Over 90 percent of the world’s supply of mercury originates from China; the is often a by-product of yellow mining.

Cinnabar is mined in pillar or open-pit operations and refined by flotation. Many of the techniques of exploit of mercury count on the volatility the the metal and also the reality that cinnabar is easily decomposed by waiting or by lime to yield the complimentary metal. Mercury is extract from cinnabar through roasting that in air, complied with by condensation of the mercury vapour. Due to the fact that of the toxicity that mercury and also the hazard of rigid pollution control, attention is gift directed towards safer techniques of extracting mercury. These generally rely on the fact that cinnabar is readily soluble in options of sodium hypochlorite or sulfide, from which the mercury have the right to be recovered by precipitation v zinc or aluminum or by electrolysis. (For treatment of the commercial production of mercury, see mercury processing; for mineralogical properties, see native facet .)

Mercury is toxic. Poisoning may result from inhalation the the vapour, ingestion of soluble compounds, or absorb of mercury with the skin.

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Natural mercury is a mixture of 7 stable isotopes: 196Hg (0.15 percent), 198Hg (9.97 percent), 199Hg (16.87 percent), 200Hg (23.10 percent), 201Hg (13.18 percent), 202Hg (29.86 percent), and 204Hg (6.87 percent). Isotopically pure mercury consisting of just mercury-198 prepared by ghost bombardment of herbal gold, gold-197, has been used as a wavelength standard and for other an exact work.