Tag Archive: Mercury

Oct 25 2010

Pique the Geek 20101024: Essential Elements: Mercury

Most people think of mercury as nothing but a toxic nuisance.  Actually, that is far from the truth.  While mercury is toxic in many situations, modern life as we know it would be essentially impossible without that element.  It is also a material known from antiquity, and has drawn the interest of learned folks since then.

Mercury is unique in that it is the only metal to be a liquid at room temperature.  Actually, it is liquid from around minus 39 degrees Celsius to around 360, so it has a almost a 400 hundred degree liquid phase.  That is also sort of odd, since many metals have much longer liquid ranges.

Let us investigate this unique material, and see how it impacts our lives.  You might be surprised.