What is the electron configuration of mercury?


Quick Answer

The full electron configuration of mercury is 1s2 2s2p6 3s2p6d10 4s2p6d10f14 5s2p6d10 6s2. As indicated in this formula, mercury has 80 electrons, with two electrons on its outer energy level. This is the formula of a mercury atom in a neutral state, without the charge of more or less electrons.

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Full Answer

An electron configuration is the arrangement of electrons in the various shells of an atom, present in every different element. Each element has a different neutral arrangement of electrons, contributing to the difference in mass between the different elements. There are four different blocks on the periodic table, separated by its outer orbital. The four orbital designations are s, p, d and f.

Mercury is a naturally occurring element commonly found in cinnabar. Mercury is a substance once thought to have alchemical properties, which resulted in the poisoning of several famous figures who did not understand its effects. They suffered from mercury poisoning, a form of poisoning most often encountered in modern times from the consumption of seafood contaminated with mercury.

Mercury is a silvery liquid even at low temperatures, due to its very low melting point. This property is very rare in the natural world, with only a handful of other metals having a similarly low melting point.

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