Atomic Number: 80
Atomic Weight: 200.59
Discovery: Known to the ancient Hindus and Chinese. Mercury has been found in Egyptian tombs dating to 1500 B.C.
Electron Configuration: [Xe] 4f14 5d10 6s2
Word Origin: from the Planet Mercury; Hg is the symbol for Hydrargyrum, which means liquid silver
Properties: Mercury has a melting point of -38.842°C, boiling point of 356.58°C, specific gravity of 13.546 (20°C), and a valence of 1 or 2. Mercury is one of the few elements that is liquid at ordinary room temperatures. Mercury is a heavy, silvery-white metal. It is a relatively poor conductor of heat, but a fair conductor of electricity. Mercury readily forms alloys with other metals, called amalgams. An electrical discharge will cause mercury to combine with the noble gases argon, krypton, neon, and xenon. Mercury and its compounds are highly poisonous. Mercury is readily absorbed across unbroken skin or though the respiratory or gatroinstentinal tract. It acts as a cumulative poison. Mercury is very volatile in air. When room temperature air (20°C) is saturated with mercury vapor, the concentration greatly exceeds the toxic limit. The concentration, and thus the danger, increases at higher temperatures.
Uses: Mercury is amalgamated with gold to facilitate the recovery of gold from its ores. Mercury is used to make thermometers, diffusion pumps, barometers, mercury vapor lamps, mercury switches, pesticides, batteries, dental preparations, antifouling paints, pigments, and catalysts. Many of the salts and organic mercury compounds are important.
Sources: Mercury rarely occurs free in nature. It's chief ore is cinnabar, HgS. Mercury is obtained from cinnabar by heating the cinnabar in air and condensing the vapor.
Element Classification: Transition Metal
Density (g/cc): 13.546 (@ +20°C)
Melting Point (K): 234.28
Boiling Point (K): 629.73
Appearance: heavy, silvery-white metal that is liquid at room temperature
Atomic Radius (pm): 157
Atomic Volume (cc/mol): 14.8
Covalent Radius (pm): 149
Ionic Radius: 110 (+2e) 127 (+1e)
Specific Heat (@20°C J/g mol): 0.138
Fusion Heat (kJ/mol): 2.295
Evaporation Heat (kJ/mol): 58.5
Debye Temperature (K): 100.00
Pauling Negativity Number: 2.00
First Ionizing Energy (kJ/mol): 1006.0
Oxidation States: 2, 1
Lattice Structure: Rhombohedral
Lattice Constant (Å): 2.990
References: Los Alamos National Laboratory (2001), Crescent Chemical Company (2001), Lange's Handbook of Chemistry (1952), CRC Handbook of Chemistry & Physics (18th Ed.)
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