Mercury is commonly known as quicksilver and was formerly named hydrargyrum. Mercury is a heavy, silvery d-block element, mercury is the only metallic element that is liquid at standard conditions for temperature and pressure.
Protons and Neutrons in Mercury
Mercury is a chemical element with atomic number 80 which means there are 80 protons in its nucleus. Total number of protons in the nucleus is called the atomic number of the atom and is given the symbol Z. The total electrical charge of the nucleus is therefore +Ze, where e (elementary charge) equals to 1,602 x 10-19 coulombs.
The total number of neutrons in the nucleus of an atom is called the neutron number of the atom and is given the symbol N. Neutron number plus atomic number equals atomic mass number: N+Z=A. The difference between the neutron number and the atomic number is known as the neutron excess: D = N – Z = A – 2Z.
For stable elements, there is usually a variety of stable isotopes. Isotopes are nuclides that have the same atomic number and are therefore the same element, but differ in the number of neutrons. Mass numbers of typical isotopes of Mercury are 198-202.
Main Isotopes of Mercury
Mercury occurs in 7 natural isotopes: 196Hg, 198Hg, 199Hg, 200Hg, 201Hg, 202Hg and 204Hg. 202Hg is the most common isotope, having a natural abundance of approximately 29%.
Mercury-196 is composed of 80 protons, 116 neutrons, and 80 electrons.
Mercury-198 is composed of 80 protons, 118 neutrons, and 80 electrons.
Mercury-199 is composed of 80 protons, 119 neutrons, and 80 electrons.
Mercury-200 is composed of 80 protons, 120 neutrons, and 80 electrons.
Mercury-201 is composed of 80 protons, 121 neutrons, and 80 electrons.
Mercury-202 is composed of 80 protons, 122 neutrons, and 80 electrons.
Mercury-204 is composed of 80 protons, 124 neutrons, and 80 electrons.
Electrons and Electron Configuration
The number of electrons in an electrically-neutral atom is the same as the number of protons in the nucleus. Therefore, the number of electrons in neutral atom of Mercury is 80. Each electron is influenced by the electric fields produced by the positive nuclear charge and the other (Z – 1) negative electrons in the atom.
Since the number of electrons and their arrangement are responsible for the chemical behavior of atoms, the atomic number identifies the various chemical elements. The configuration of these electrons follows from the principles of quantum mechanics. The number of electrons in each element’s electron shells, particularly the outermost valence shell, is the primary factor in determining its chemical bonding behavior. In the periodic table, the elements are listed in order of increasing atomic number Z.
Electron configuration of Mercury is [Xe] 4f14 5d10 6s2.
Possible oxidation states are +1,2.
Most Common Alloys of Mercury
Low-copper amalgam commonly consists of mercury (50%), silver (~22–32%), tin (~14%), zinc (~8%) and other trace metals. High-copper amalgam includes 40-60% silver, 27-30% tin and 13-30% copper and 1% zinc set with mercury.
|Number of protons||80|
|Number of neutrons (typical isotopes)||198-202|
|Number of electrons||80|
|Electron configuration||[Xe] 4f14 5d10 6s2|
Properties of other elements