LIFE. Mercury is an element that, although being a liquid at normal temperature, is extremely heavy. Heavy solid items, such as iron cannonballs, will really float in a pool of the silvery metal, despite the fact that it sinks in water.
This property makes mercury useful for demonstrating physical phenomena, such as buoyancy. If you put a small amount of mercury in a glass, you can see that it is actually lighter than water, since bubbles rise to the surface.
However, mercury is also toxic. In large quantities, it is fatal. The main danger comes from swallowing the metal. It will slowly spread through your body, causing brain damage over time.
The best way to avoid poisoning yourself by mercury is not to touch or drink any old liquid that has come into contact with batteries or other electrical equipment. This includes cleaning products that contain mercuric compounds. Instead, use only purified water to clean your house and wash your clothes.
Even when it is not poisoned, mercury is still very dangerous. If you handle it improperly, it can cause serious injuries. For this reason, all types of mercury should be handled by trained professionals.
Mercury is a metal with a density of 13.5 grams per cubic centimeter (0.49 pounds per cubic inch). This indicates that the density of mercury is around 13 times larger than the density of water. As a result, several items that sink in water will float on mercury, such as lead, silver, and steel. However, the opposite is not true - something that floats in water cannot be made out of mercury alone because any material with a higher density than mercury would do so.
However, because mercury is liquid at temperatures and pressures found on Earth, it must be kept under pressure or it will escape our planet's atmosphere to become a gas. Without this pressure, it would vaporize into its constituent elements - gold, silver, and platinum - which are all gases at standard temperature and pressure.
The pressure required to keep mercury in its liquid state depends on the temperature. At very low temperatures, the pressure can be as high as 100 atmospheres (10 kilopascals), but at normal temperatures this drops down to about 1 atmosphere (100 kPa).
This means that if you were to put some mercury in a container and drop it in ice water, it would completely fill the container with liquid mercury because the ice water would provide enough pressure to keep the mercury liquid. If you then removed the lid and allowed the container to warm up, the mercury would return to its gaseous state because there is no longer sufficient pressure to keep it liquid.
Because mercury has a high density, most other substances float in it. Metals such as nickel, iron, and copper fall into this category, as do mixed solids such as most forms of stone and organic materials such as plastics and wood. Liquids and gases with lower densities than mercury will also float in it. Examples include water and air.
Sinking agents are compounds that cause other substances to go down into liquid environments. Sinking agents can be natural or synthetic and can act by several different mechanisms. For example, sodium carbonate (commonly called soda) is a common natural sinking agent that causes minerals in the soil to dissolve and be removed from landfills when it is added as a landfill cover material. Synthetic sinking agents include polymers and alkalis that work in much the same way.
The term "mercury" is used to describe both elemental mercury and its compounds. Elemental mercury is the form of mercury found in nature in its free state; it is a metallic element with a dense white color and a softness characteristic of metals. It is extremely toxic if inhaled or ingested. In addition, elemental mercury is highly reactive and will combine with other elements, forming compounds that are no longer toxic and removable with simple techniques such as incineration or burial in non-hazardous locations.
Compounds of mercury are also toxic and should not be released into the environment without proper containment and disposal.
Mercury is a silver-white, highly dense, heavy metal that is a liquid at ambient temperature. Mercury has a density of 13.5 g/mL, which is approximately 13.5 times denser than water (1.0 g/mL), therefore even a little amount of mercury feels very weighty. Liquid mercury is extremely dangerous and should be handled by trained professionals.
Although mercury is almost 100% more dense than water, this does not mean that it would float if it were to enter the ocean. The reason why mercury is so toxic is because it can remain in the environment for many years before it gets recycled. When mercury enters the environment, it can bind with other chemicals and substances naturally found in soil or water, such as sulfur or chlorine, and become less soluble than when it was first released into the atmosphere. This means that even if some mercury did enter the ocean, it would be removed later on when it binds with other elements in the sea.
The only way mercury could possibly get into the ocean is if it were to be released into it directly. For example, if someone threw away a thermometer filled with liquid mercury then this would be able to drain into the ocean through storm drains or sink into the ground where it would leach into the soil and contribute to the global warming process. However, this would be an accident waiting to happen and should never be done!
The buoyant force on an item is equal to the weight of the fluid that the object displaces, according to the Archimedes principle. Objects that are less dense than the fluid will float as a result. Because mercury is a metal, it is extremely dense, which means that when it is a liquid, certain heavy items float on the surface.
Items that don't displace enough fluid to rise to the surface include gases such as air and water vapor. This is why bubbles will not rise in a glass of water if you stop stirring the water once the mixture becomes still. The gas inside the bubble cannot escape, so the bubble stays afloat even though no movement of the liquid is occurring around it.
When objects with different densities are mixed together, they form a new composite object with its own unique density. If a piece of wood is submerged in a pool of water, it will eventually come up again because some of the water has been displaced by the piece of wood. The amount of water that can be displaced is called its "specific gravity." Most objects have a specific gravity greater than 1, but some very light objects can have a specific gravity of less than 1. For example, a balloon has a specific gravity of about 0.04, while air has a specific gravity of 1. Therefore, when floating balloons and air are mixed together, both items will remain at the surface of the water because there is not enough energy required to push any of them below the water line.