"Hg"!!!

Asked by jal.panchal | 19th Mar, 2008, 07:33: PM

Expert Answer:

Mercury is a liquid at room temperature because the "relativistic contraction" of its atomic orbitals makes it behave chemically almost like a noble gas, not wanting to share electrons with other atoms, even other mercury atoms! Note that mercury is monatomic in the gas phase, just like a noble gas. Of course this should not be pushed too far; mercury is not a noble gas. There are enough outer-electron interactions for mercury to remain a liquid (radon, 22 amu heavier, is a gas), to conduct electricity, and to participate in ordinary chemical reactions.

Answered by  | 8th Jun, 2008, 07:54: AM

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