Mercury

Andrew Marmery and Olympia Brown, from the Royal Institution, celebrate filming the Christmas Lectures by sharing their love of element number 80. Mercury, called quicksilver by the ancient alchemists, is the only metal which is liquid at room temperature. Olympia shows how beautiful the metal looks as she moves it around a petri dish, while Andrew demonstrates how dense mercury and explains how its properties make it useful in thermometers, motion detectors and telescope mirrors.

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