|Origin of Name
||After the Roman god and the planet, Mercury
The symbol, Hg, comes from hydrargyrum, a Latinized form of the
Greek word Υδραργυρος (hydrargyros), which means water
combined with silver
|Date and Place of Discovery
||Known to the ancients
- It was known to the ancient
Chinese and Hindus and was found in Egyptian tombs dating back to
- In ancient days it was thought
to prolong life, heal fractures, and promote good health.
- It is extremely rare and not
found easily in the earth's crust.
- Its symbol, Hg, stands for water
combined with silver since it is liquid like water but has a silvery
- It is found in fish and
shellfish because of their natural tendency to accumulate it in
- It is a
that accumulates in soft tissues and bone.
- It is the main ingredient in
dental amalgams, but there is a controversy whether it is safe or
not. The American Society of Dental Surgeons doesn't feel it
is a health threat, but there is controversy in the world.
- Alexander Calder built a
mercury fountain for the Spanish Pavilion at the 1937 World's
Fair in Paris. The fountain is now on display at the Fundació Miró in Barcelona.
- Thermometers used to measure
high temperatures. In the United States it is illegal to
produce or sell thermometers with mercury that are used to measure
fevers because of the high toxicity of mercury.
- Diffusion pumps
- Electron tubes
Mercury arc rectifiers
- Mercury vapor lams
- Advertising signs
- Fluorescent lamps
- Coolant in nuclear reactors
- Gold and silver refinement
- Mercury switches
- Dental amalgams
- Liquid Mirror telescopes
- Preservative in vaccines