Johns (w) Mahnke (a)
Dr. Magnus is kicking the Metal Men back into gear to help the Justice League in this installment of the Forever Evil storyline.
As these metallic do-gooders set out to help take down Grid, Mercury pours his way into action by infusing Grid with some heavy metal. In doing so, Mercury states he is the only liquid metal at room temperature.
1.) Is Mercury the only liquid metal at room temperature?
2.) How can Mercury effect electronics?
3.) Why would Dr. Magnus have a enormous pile of Mercury walking around,; isn't that dangerous?
1.) Yes, mercury (Hg) is the only liquid metal at room temperature. There is one other liquid element at room temperature, bromine (Br). The reason for mercury's curious physical state is due to a relativistic effect. This effect is from Hg having such a large positively charged nucleus pulling on it's inner electrons that causes them to move near the speed of like around it and thusly pulling it's outer electrons closer to the nucleus, making them less likely to bond, which causes weaker attractions between Hg atoms allowing them to be a liquid instead of a solid. (1)
2.) Hg is a metal and is quite conductive, they are used in some electrical devices to complete circuits. So, if you poured water over an electrical device the water will allow the electrons flowing in the circuit to ground out elsewhere. Hg can do the same thing, since it is conductive.
3.) Hg is a well known, now, as being a health hazard. Hg can easily go into the gas phase a room temperature. Long term exposure to breathing or contact can cause Hg to migrate into a body and travel to the brain, where it causes neurological disorders. The phrase "Mad as a hatter" comes from Hg. Hg was used in the hat and pallet industry by rubbing Hg on the exterior to make the product look lustrous. (2). We can only hope that the responsometers that Dr. Magnus uses communicates with the Hg atoms in Mercury to make them stay on him and not travel into the environment.
This was good science! Johns used Mercury's powers in all the right ways and it made for a great story.
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