Symbol: Hg
Atomic number: 80
Category: transition metals
Group: 12
Period: 6
Block: d
Atomic weight: 200.59 g/mol
Electrons per shell: 2, 8, 18, 32, 18, 2
CAS number: 7439-97-6
Phase: liquid
Density: 13.534 kg/dm3 (near room temperature)
Melting point: 234.32 K (-38.83 C, -37.89 F)
Boiling point: 629.88 K (356.73 C, 674.11 F)
Crystal structure: rhombohedral
Oxidation states: 1, 2
Electronegativity: 2.00 (Pauling scale)
Name's origin: Mercury
Name's meaning: the Roman god known for speed and mobility
- the symbol Hg comes from hydrargyrum, a Latinized form of the Greek word hydrargyros, which is a compound word meaning 'water' and 'silver' since it is liquid, like water, and yet has a silvery metallic sheen
- alchemists thought of mercury as the First Matter from which all metals were formed - they believed that different metals could be produced by varying the quality and quantity of sulfur contained within the mercury
- heavy, silvery d-block metal, mercury is one of six elements that are liquid at or near room temperature and pressure, the others being caesium, francium, gallium, bromine, and rubidium
- is the only metal liquid at standard conditions for temperature and pressure, with a melting point of -38.83 C
- occurs in deposits throughout the world as cinnabar (mercuric sulfide), source of the red pigment vermilion
- is used in thermometers, barometers, manometers, sphygmomanometers, float valves, and other scientific apparatus
- mercury and most of its compounds are extremely toxic and are generally handled with care
- has been used in dental amalgams