The Physics
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Resistivity of Mercury

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Bibliographic Entry Result
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Cutnell, John and Johnson, Kenneth. Physics - Fourth Edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1998.
Material Resistivity (Ω·m)
Mercury 95.8·10−8
9.58·10−7 Ωm
Cudik, Brian and Agyepong, Qwado. Physics 2121 Laboratory Manual [pdf]. 2006.
Substance Resistivity, ρ (Ω-cm)
Mercury 95.8 10−6
9.58·10−7 Ωm
Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. Chemical Rubber Company, 1967-1968. Electrical Resistivity and Temperature Coefficients per °C
Element Temperature °C Microhm-Cm Temperature Coefficient per °C
Mercury 50 98.4  
9.84·10−7 Ωcm
Vince Calder. Argonne National Laboratory, Division of Educational Programs, April 22, 2004. In contrast, liquid mercury has a resistivity of 9.58x10^-7, and at the other extreme glass has a resistivity of ~ 10^-12 (depending upon the type of glass). 9.58·10−7 Ωm

Resistance is a property of a material that opposes the flow of electrons, or electric current. The units of resistivity are ohm-meters, Ωm.

In electrochemistry, mercury is used as part of the calomel electrode as an alternative to the standard hydrogen electrode. It is also used to work out the electrode potential of half cells. It is interesting to note that mercury has the lowest electrical resistivity of metals, at approximately 9.58·10−7 Ωm.

Mercury, also known as liquid silver or quicksilver, is a transitional element. It is only one of two elements that are found in the liquid state at room temperature (the other is bromine). Mercury remains a solid up to pressures as high as 7,640 atmospheres and because of this it is used in barometers. Its atomic number is 80 and its atomic mass is 200.59 amu.

For many years, alchemists used mercury in an attempt to turn it into gold. Mercury is commonly used in thermometers because its change in volume for every degree of change in temperature is almost constant. Mercury is used in batteries, nuclear reactor coolants, insecticides, dental fillings, and barometers. In certain cultures it is also used in folk medicine.

Marina Grintsvayg -- 2006