Mercury Essay

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Mercury Mercury is a very interesting metal that is unique in many ways. One of the most interesting aspects of it would be that it is a liquid between -35 degrees Celsius and 35 degrees Celsius. It is very rare to find but it was discovered a long time ago but its exact date of discovery is unknown. It is nicked named quicksilver because it has a very bright silver glow to it. Mercury’s atomic symbol is Hg which comes from the Latin word hydragyrum meaning liquid silver, its atomic number is 80, and its atomic weight is 200.59, and compared to gold mercury is only a little bit more plentiful. Mercury has very high surface tension which is the reason it forms globules rather than spreading evenly across the surface. Mercury behaves a lot like heated liquid tin. Also mercury forms alloys called amalgams with silver, zinc, gold, and cadmium. Mercury has served many purposes throughout history. Between the 14th and 16th century it was used in mirrors, mechanical clocks, and even to purify gold. In fact the mirrors made with mercury and tin coated by glass were the first real mirrors which were an important breakthrough. The reason mercury was used in clocks because it is very dense and thick which helped keep time. Mercury has even been found in 3,500 year old Egyptian tombs. The Egyptians used it as paint on the walls of the tomb and this paint is the earliest evidence of mercury that is available. Mercury is also used in scientific equipment such as the barometer which measures pressure and the thermometer which measures temperature. The reason that mercury cannot really be used in most situations is because it is toxic. Before it was discovered by scientist that mercury is toxic it was used by alchemists to try to cure diseases such as syphilis but as a result the patients became sicker. Mercury is primarily found in the mineral cinnabar (HgS). Nearly half

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