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Mercury Applications


Mercury is an excellent media for temperature measurement due to its enormous temperature range: it freezes at -38.9°C and boils at 356.7°C; moreover, the boiling point grows on a hundred degrees as the pressure increases. Then, the wettability of mercury on glass is very low, which increases the measurement accuracy. The most important of mercury properties is that its thermal expansion proceeds much more uniformly than that of other liquids. And, finally, mercury has a very small specific heat: it may be warmed 30 times faster than the water. In other words mercury thermometer has a very fast response.

Despite the toxicity it is still impossible to stop utilization of mercury and its compounds. Mercury applications are very vast. Metal mercury is used in electric contacts, diffusion vacuum pump switches, in rectifiers, barometers, thermometers, in mercury cathodes used in caustic soda and chlorine production, in dry batteries which contain mercury oxide or zinc or cadmium amalgam.

Mercury is used also in mercury-vapor lamps.

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