Mercury is a poor heat conductor yet a good electrical conductor. Mercury has a distinct electron configuration that strongly resists electron removal, causing it to behave similarly to noble gas elements. Mercury, as a result, forms weak bonds and is a liquid at ambient temperature. Because of this, it can be poured into a mold without first heating up like many other metals do when pouring.
The thermal conductivity of mercury is 0.056 W/mK which is lower than that of gold (0.5 W/mK) and silver (0.3 W/mK). Its electrical conductivity is 4.9 mS/cm at 20 degrees Celsius which is much higher than copper (1.8 mS/cm) and zinc (0.02 mS/cm).
These properties make mercury useful in thermometers and barometers because neither heat nor electricity will be conducted away from the point where they are applied. Also, its malleability allows it to be used in switches, wiring devices, and instruments.
In science labs, mercury thermometers are being replaced by electronic thermometers because they are more accurate. Electronic thermometers use sensors that measure infrared radiation given off by objects that are above room temperature. This type of sensor does not work with mercury thermometers because mercury itself emits no heat and so cannot be used to read its temperature.
Mercury is a silvery-white liquid metal that is heavy. It is a poor conductor of heat yet a good conductor of electricity when compared to other metals. Heat moves from one place to another by energy waves called heat rays or thermal radiation. These are visible light waves that travel at the speed of light. However, heat can be transmitted through solid objects using conduction. Conduction is the transfer of heat through space between two objects. One object may be much hotter than the other so that it gives off heat, but neither is in a state of absolute zero temperature. Conduction occurs because atoms in the objects vibrate which creates electrons that flow along the surface of the object transferring heat into or out of the object.
When mercury is exposed to heat, it begins to lose its shape and become a gas. Because it is a good conductor of heat, this makes sense as far as how a material conducts heat. But even after all the mercury has vaporized, it still appears to be a liquid under some conditions. This has to do with the fact that some molecules in the gaseous form of mercury are still moving too fast to allow them to bond with each other. So they keep bouncing off other particles in the air or ground, keeping the mercury cloud around for several minutes or longer.
Mercury is a rather weak heat conductor. The majority of metals are excellent heat conductors. It is a low-voltage electrical conductor. Mercury has the closest freezing point (-38.8 C) and boiling point (356 C) of any metal. However, these temperatures are not reached in nature.
The average temperature of Earth's surface is 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit). But the coldest place on Earth is Antarctica, where the average temperature is -15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit). The highest spot on Earth is Mount Everest, at 8,848 meters (29,029 feet) above sea level; it has an average temperature of 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit).
Earth's core has very high temperatures: around 2000 degrees Celsius (3600 degrees Fahrenheit).
Taken together, mercury is a nonmetal that is a liquid at room temperature, it has the lowest boiling point of any metal, and the core of the planet is extremely hot. These facts indicate that mercury is not hot!
Physical characteristics Mercury is a silvery-white liquid metal that is heavy. The interior of Mercury is hot because it is mostly made up of hydrogen (78%) with the rest being helium (22%). Hitting mercury with sunlight can lead to photosynthesis taking place inside the planet's body!
All metals are derived from Earth's core and mantle. They are always brought to the surface where they are exposed to heat and pressure which changes their physical properties. For example, iron becomes steel and gold becomes gold wire. Mercury is a metallic element and is never found in its original form. All of the mercury we see on Earth was transported here by volcanoes or eroded rocks from far away places such as Africa or India. There is also some evidence that mercury has been transported here by wind and water but not enough to account for all the mercury found on Earth.
No, mercury does not produce energy it is only used as a source of power for cells. Photosynthetic organisms use sunlight to create chemical bonds which release energy that keeps them alive. This process requires oxygen and nutrients too much energy would be wasted if it were not recovered afterwards.
Even at low temperatures, mercury does not evaporate quickly. Because it is a metal, it conducts heat well. This implies that it responds swiftly to temperature fluctuations. Except for the actual peak temperature, the rise in mercury is continuous or linear to increases in heat. Other metals have less capacity to conduct heat so they must be heated more extensively to give an equal response.
The ability of mercury to respond continuously to changes in temperature makes it suitable for use in a thermometer. In fact, it was originally made from the head or tail of a cow. The first mercury-filled thermometers were invented by Gabriel Liotti and John Dalton. They sold them for a profit which helped support their experiments during the French Revolution.
Other metals can be used in thermometers but they must be heated until they reach red hot temperatures before being exposed to cold temperatures. This is because any residual heat would slow down the cooling process in extreme cases. The best example of this is the thermocouple which uses two different metals with opposite responses to temperature. If they are paired correctly, they can be used as a true indicator of temperature without affecting it.
In conclusion, mercury is used in thermometers because it is capable of responding rapidly to changes in temperature. Other metals may be used but they must be heated until they reach high temperatures before being exposed to cold temperatures.