They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me
dr_phil_physics

On The Nature of Mercury, Gold and Silver

From a Scientific American blog on chemistry...

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/the-curious-wavefunction/2013/07/31/what-does-mercury-being-liquid-at-room-temperature-have-to-do-with-einsteins-theory-of-relativity/

A group has done quantum molecular dynamics calculations both with and without relativity, and shown that with relativity, the calculated melting point of Hg drops from 355K to 250K. For those of you weak on the SI metric system, ice melts at 273K and room temperature is roughly 293K or 68°F.

This all has to do with the completed 6s electron orbital and the apparent relativistic mass of the innermost 1s electrons. By similar discussions, gold absorbs blue light and reflects yellow and red, while silver absorbs in the UV and seemingly has no color so it is whitish.

Who knew? This is so cool.

Great strides in atomic calculations from the 1980s and 90s.

Dr. Phil
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