Mercury has a very large surface tension, but what causes this? Is that caused by the van der Waals forces because it has an high atomic number whereby there are a lot of electrons which makes mercury a kind op dipole because electrons are less binded to the core? Or are there other reasons? If not how does this metal compare to other heavy metals like gold?

Krish Schmitt 2022-09-30 Answered
Mercury has a very large surface tension, but what causes this? Is that caused by the van der Waals forces because it has an high atomic number whereby there are a lot of electrons which makes mercury a kind op dipole because electrons are less binded to the core? Or are there other reasons? If not how does this metal compare to other heavy metals like gold?
And is this the same reason as why mercury is liquid at room temperature?
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Answers (1)

Rihanna Blanchard
Answered 2022-10-01 Author has 13 answers
The high surface tension of mercury is due to intermetallic bonding. This bonding creates a strong "desire" for Hg atoms to interact with each other, versus their surroundings. In contrast, the surface tension of water is due to hydrogen bonding, a much weaker force that is easier to overcome. I found this answer on quora and it seems good because Hg atoms share an intermetallic bond which is much stronger that the hydrogen bonds between water molecules.
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