| Share



mercury or quicksilver [from the Roman god Mercury], metallic chemical element; symbol Hg [Lat. hydrargyrum = liquid silver]; at. no. 80; at. wt. 200.59; m.p. - 38.842°C; b.p. 356.58°C; sp. gr. 13.55 at 20°C; valence +1 or +2. Mercury was discovered in antiquity, and was known to the ancient Chinese, Hindus, and Egyptians, but was not recognized as an element. It was used as a medicine by Paracelsus. It was first recognized as a chemical element (in the modern sense) by A. L. Lavoisier about the end of the 18th cent.

Sections in this article:

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Compounds and Elements

Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring