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Name:  Alice C.
Status: educator
Grade: 6-8
Location:MA
Country: N/A
Date: 10/25/2005


Question:
Liquid mercury has a density of about 13.55 g/cc at room temperature. What is its density as a solid at about -40 C?


Replies:
I was able to find a single number or 15.6 gm/ml. However, I was not able to find the source of the data. Since I cannot find the source, this number is only approximate.

Vince Calder


Hi Alice-

God help us all; I cannot understand why the solid Mercury's density is still a blank in all the publicly available sources.

At it says: "Density of solid [/kg m-3]: no data", but on the next line: "Molar volume [/cm3]: 14.09" and at the top is the molar mass: "80 / Hg / 200.59(2)"

From these the theoretical density of frozen mercury is implicitly defined:

(200.59 gm/mol) / (14.09 cm3/mol) = 14.24 gm/cm3

I suppose "density" data means somebody actually measured a real lump. The molar volume is presumably calculated from the crystal lattice dimensions on neighboring page:

,

and so is a slightly abstract ideal. Real crystals may usually have voids in them, ranging from millimeter bubbles to single-atom vacancies or crystal defects losing one atom in a group of tens, and so have very slightly lower density.

Jim Swenson



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