Mercury Chemical Element Properties

Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is commonly known as quicksilver and was formerly named hydrargyrum. As a chemical element, It cannot be created or destroyed. The same amount has existed on the planet since the earth was formed. However, It can cycle in the environment as part of both natural and human activities. Hg Mercury metal is a volatile liquid; it has a measurable vapor pressure at room temperature.

Mercury Element Properties
Symbol Hg
Atomic Number 80
Atomic weight 200.59
melting point −38.87 °C (−37.97 °F)
Atomic Mass 200.59 g.mol -1

It is used in thermometers, barometers, manometers, sphygmomanometers, float valves, and other devices, though concerns about the element’s toxicity have led to mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometers being largely phased out in clinical environments in favor of alternatives such as alcohol or infrared-based electronic instruments. Likewise, mechanical pressure gauges and electronic strain gauge sensors have replaced Hg sphygmomanometers.


Physical Properties of Mercury

  • It is a heavy, silvery-white liquid metal. Compared to other metals, it is a poor conductor of heat, but a fair conductor of electricity.
  • Solid Hg is malleable and ductile and can be cut with a knife.
  • It dissolves many metals such as gold and silver to form amalgams. Iron is an exception, and iron flasks have traditionally been used to trade Hg.

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