Mercury (element)


Mercury is a chemical element which is represented in the periodic table of elements with the symbol Hg and whose atomic number is 80. In ancient texts, mercury was commonly designated as liquid silver or also as quicksilver or hydrargyrum. Some of the characteristics that distinguish it are its silvery appearance, classified as a heavy metal that is grouped in block D within the periodic table, in addition to everything already exposed, this element is the only metal that is liquid under standard laboratory conditions. ; however, there are some metals such as cesium, gallium, and rubidium that can be melted at slightly higher temperatures. This noble metal is only soluble in oxidizing solutions. For its part, mercury in its solid state is soft in consistency, as is lead.

Currently there is evidence that this element has been used by man since ancient times and there is evidence of its use in various areas of the planet, including Ancient China and India, as well as in Ancient Egypt. However, as far as its discovery is concerned, it is still a mystery, but what is known is that it received its name in honor of the Roman god of the same name, who, according to mythological accounts, was a fast messenger of the gods. In the same way, this bears a certain relationship with the planet Mercury.

As mentioned above, mercury is an element with distinctive characteristics, one of the most important being the fact that at room temperature it remains in a liquid state, it has a silvery hue with clear whitish tones, it is a heavy metal and it works very well. well in alloys with other metals, among which gold or silver can be highlighted, which are known as “amalgams”.

It is important to note that mercury is considered a highly dangerous and harmful element for living beings. If it happens that mercury enters the body, either through a small wound or other means, as it has in many cases, the results are fatal. As it can cause massive nerve, liver, and lung damage, just to mention the most important effects, it is very important to be cautious when handling this metal.