Asked by: Helida Ripolles
science chemistry

What are the properties and uses of mercury?

Last Updated: 15th May, 2020

Mercury is used in barometers and manometers (instruments for measuring the pressure of gases and liquids), because of its high density. The metal also has a high rate of nearly linear thermal expansion, so it is used extensively in thermometers.

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Consequently, what are the properties of mercury?

The element's atomic mass is 200.59 grams per mole and its specific gravity is 13.5 times that of water. Mercury has a melting point of -38.9oC, a boiling point of 356.7oC, and is the only metal to remain in liquid form at room temperature.

Additionally, what are 3 physical properties of mercury? The Physical Properties of Mercury are as follows:

  • Color : Silver-White mirror-like appearance.
  • Luster : Mirror like.
  • Conductivity : Good transmission of heat or electricity.
  • Surface Tension : High surface tension.
  • Density : High Density.

Just so, what are some uses of mercury today?

Today, mercury is used for the manufacture of industrial chemicals and for electrical and electronic applications. It can be found in meteorological equipment like thermometers and barometers. Gaseous mercury is used in mercury-vapor lamps which light highways at night.

What is mercury used for in 2019?

Mercury compounds are used in certain over-the-counter medicines, such as topical antiseptics, stimulant laxatives, diaper-rash ointment, eye drops, nasal sprays and some diuretics. A mercury amalgam of silver is used in dental fillings.

Related Question Answers

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Is Mercury an acid or base?

Chemical properties
Mercury does not react with most acids, such as dilute sulfuric acid, although oxidizing acids such as concentrated sulfuric acid and nitric acid or aqua regia dissolve it to give sulfate, nitrate, and chloride. Like silver, mercury reacts with atmospheric hydrogen sulfide.

Marilou Mahillo


Which is a chemical property?

A chemical property is any of a material's properties that becomes evident during, or after, a chemical reaction; that is, any quality that can be established only by changing a substance's chemical identity. They can also be useful to identify an unknown substance or to separate or purify it from other substances.

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Is Mercury flammable?

Mercury is non-combustible. The agent itself does not burn, but it may react upon heating to produce corrosive and/or toxic fumes. Fire will produce irritating, corrosive, and/or toxic gases.

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Is Mercury magnetic?

At room temperature, the element mercury is not very magnetic at all. It has a very small, negative magnetic susceptibility, meaning that when you put mercury in a magnetic field, it magnetizes just a little tiny bit in the opposite direction. We say that mercury is a weakly diamagnetic substance at room temperature.

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Is mercury a liquid?

Mercury is the only metal that is a liquid at normal temperatures and pressure. Because of the behavior of the valence electrons, mercury has a low melting point, is a poor electrical and thermal conductor, and doesn't form diatomic mercury molecules in the gas phase.

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Where is mercury found?

Mercury is a very rare element found in the Earth's crust. It is sometimes found in its free state, but is usually found in ores such as cinnabar, livingstonite, and corderoite. Most mercury today is produced from the mining of cinnabar, a bright red ore.

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Who discovered Mercury?

Mercury is one of the five classical planets visible with the naked eye and is named after the swift-footed Roman messenger god. It is not known exactly when the planet was first discovered - although it was first observed through telescopes in the seventeenth century by astronomers Galileo Galilei and Thomas Harriot.

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What are 3 uses of mercury?

Mercury is used in laboratories for making thermometers, barometers, diffusion pumps, and many other instruments. It is used for mercury switches and other electrical apparatus. It is used as an electrode in some types of electrolysis and for making batteries (mercury cells).

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Is mercury still used in medicine?

MERCURY HAS LONG BEEN USED as a medicine to treat various diseases, such as syphilis and typhoid fever, or parasites. Kussmaul's book is still highly readable and also contains a long section on the history of mercury and its uses and misuses.

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Why is Mercury so important?

As a good conductor of electricity, mercury is often used in many products such as switches and batteries. It is used to amalgamate gold and silver in small scale mining activities because it readily combines with other metals.

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Why is mercury bad?

Health effects of mercury exposure
Elemental and methylmercury are toxic to the central and peripheral nervous systems. The inhalation of mercury vapour can produce harmful effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, lungs and kidneys, and may be fatal.

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Can you touch mercury?

Mercury is a very toxic or poisonous substance that people can be exposed to in several ways. If it is swallowed, like from a broken thermometer, it mostly passes through your body and very little is absorbed. If you touch it, a small amount may pass through your skin, but not usually enough to harm you.

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Why is Mercury so heavy?

Alchemists used to believe that mercury could be turned into gold when combined with other metals. Mercury was the primary means of treatment for syphilis until the early 20th century. Mercury is really heavy, as it weighs 13.6 times as much as the same volume of water, according to CNR.

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Is mercury soluble in water?

Pure mercury is stable and does not tarnish at ordinary temperatures. It will form alloys with most metals. It is not soluble in water or most other liquids, but will dissolve in lipids (fats and oils). Mercuric chloride is soluble in water, methyl mercury is not.

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Is boiling point a chemical property?

A physical property is a characteristic of a substance that can be observed or measured without changing the identity of the substance. Physical properties include color, density, hardness, and melting and boiling points. A chemical property describes the ability of a substance to undergo a specific chemical change.

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Is Mercury a polar molecule?

When you put water in a test tube, adhesion makes the water along the edges move slightly upward and creates a concave meniscus. Liquid mercury, on the other hand, is not polar and therefore not attracted to glass.

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Is density a physical property?

DENSITY is a physical property of matter, as each element and compound has a unique density associated with it. Density defined in a qualitative manner as the measure of the relative "heaviness" of objects with a constant volume.