uses for pure mercury?

say, one was to acquire a decent sum of mercury, about eight liquid ounces
what are the possibilities?
already thought of poisoning myself , before anyone points out the obvious,
I thought about trying to recreate the aluminum decomposing trick that was just in popsci
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obvious,
I have eight ounces, which I bought for cleaning the lead out of the muzzle brake on my Hi-Standard pistol. That took about one ounce.
So I made a mercury-pool model electric motor. I'm going to take it in for a demo in my son's Physics class. We'll see if that pool of mercury gets me arrested or something. <g>
Ed Huntress
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says...

In case you were serious about doing this, Ed, I would strongly advise against it. The chances for a spill are obviously small, sure, but if it did spill the school could be in a world of trouble. I mean, it wouldn't be like you were actually *shooting* at the school with a 20mm cannon, but the results would be far more troublesome to you, personally....
:^)
Jim
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Ed Huntress wrote:

Totally cool project! I have some old Popular Mechanics books (the red ones) and one of the projects in there (I think) was a mercury pool motor. I always wanted to build one but I never knew how to obtain the quantity of mercury necessary....
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Whatsa mercury pool motor? How does it work? ---------------------------- Mr. P.V.'d formerly Droll Troll

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(Stop me if I'm wrong here...) One of the original experiments Faraday performed: you place a magnet in a pool of mercury and dangle a rod in the pool. The mercury keeps electrical contact with the rod as it rotates around the magnet from the field thus produced. Also works backwards, with the rod fixed and the magnet swinging around in the mercury.
Tim
-- "I've got more trophies than Wayne Gretsky and the Pope combined!" - Homer Simpson Website @ http://webpages.charter.net/dawill/tmoranwms
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ounces
was
muzzle
a
Food for thought.
http://www.newsenterpriseonline.com/articles/2004/11/12/news/news1.txt
Shawn
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"Shawn" <shawn_75ATcomcastDOTnet> wrote in message

for
me
Well, so much for that idea...
Ed Huntress
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<ahem>.
Jim
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"

It's interesting the guys doing the testing are not concerned enough to wear breathing aparatus.
-Dean Horstman
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Can anyone supply some data, test cases, MSDS, etc, that indicate this is really something to worry about? I still think this is way overblown.
cs
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This is purely a guess but I suppose that the airborne levels were below safe levels for everywhere else except a school. Not sure about mercury but asbestos has different rules when a school is involved.
Shawn
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"Shawn" <shawn_75ATcomcastDOTnet> wrote in message

but
And silicone is a proven and tested, safe material (oil, liquid, gel, rubber, whichever) for everything ... except breast implants.
Politics anyone? (Insert gagging smiley)
Tim
-- "I've got more trophies than Wayne Gretsky and the Pope combined!" - Homer Simpson Website @ http://webpages.charter.net/dawill/tmoranwms
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williamhenry wrote:

They used to make rheostats (variable resistors) from carbon rods set up so their lower ends could be raised and lowered into pots of mercury.
Jeff
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I don't think their is any practical application for mercury. It just ends up in a landfill, and leaches into our water & food supply. When will the govenment wise up and tightly control this stuff?

obvious,
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Here are a couple of interesting mercury uses:
The Mercast process, where mercury is used in the investment process in place of wax in the lost wax process. The mercury is poured while liquid and then frozen. The investment mold is then made at the frozen mercury temperature, the mercury poured out at room temperature, and the investment mold is then used in the same manner as a wax investment mold for casting metal.
Large parabolic mirrors, where mercury is spun to get the proper shape, it's reflective shape then used as a telescope mirror. I think Nasa built a 3 meter mirror in this manner, but I don't know much about the results.
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Billy Hiebert
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, this was headed to a landfill before I got my hands on it , and it would be disposed of as hazardous waste when and if I am through with it , , as to use for it there are quite a few , especially in the home , which is where the machines I got this out of usually reside
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It's still used for refining gold, at least in some third world countries. I recall a documentary about some big pit gold mine where people dug up gold by hand in small sqare plots, After separating as much sand and gravel from the gold dust as possible, they added mercury, which sticks to the gold, forming a pasty ball. They put it in a cloth bag and squeeze out as much mercury as possible. Then, with everyone standing around, breathing, burn off the mercury, leaving molten gold.
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It's easier to tell you what you should NOT do with the mercury rather than what to do with it. It can be absorbed into the body through the skin or inhaled through vapors. There won't be much vapor at room temperature but there will be some. Make sure there is always ventilation. Don't handle it bare-handed, especially with jewelry on. The gold will form an amalgamation with the mercury. A shiny piece of gold jewelry will become dull. It will take a lot of polishing to remove the amalgamation. I know this from experience. Always wear gloves and personal protective equipment.
I used to have some too, only about an ounce or two but I got rid of it 20 years ago or more and I'm glad I don't have it. It was facinating to fell the density of such a small quantity and to see it "flow" since it's cohesive properties are so strong compared to it's weak adhesive properties. It was also interesting to observe how the meniscus in a container was upside down compared to water (i.e. with water the water bends up in a container on the edges, with mercury the edges are lower than the surface). It was also interesting to see how the drops form into balls almost immediately. Always wear gloves and personal protective equipment.
You might be able to make a sort of barometer with the mercury using glass tubing. Always wear gloves and personal protective equipment.
Any mercury you pick up in your body is cumulative. Your body won't expel it in a short time period. You can get acute poisoning or chronic poisoning. If you choose to handle mercury, due to the way the human body is made, a lot of the mercury will end in your brain cells. Ingest enough and it will cause mental dysfunction. You will have mood swings, may become irritable, depressed or frightened. You may also experience hallucinations, memory loss or problems with concentration. Another part of your body which will be affected is your intestines. Basically the mercury and acidic food you eat will create tiny holes in your intestines. Bacteria and fungi will pass through these holes and multiply inside your body. Eventually the intestinal lining will not work very well due to the contamination. Diarrhea, bloating, gas and constipation will result. Sometimes mercury poisoning from overexposure will cause pneomonia, which can be fatal. You may also experience problems with your teeth and gums. Always wear gloves and personal protective equipment.
We have to send a letter every year to certain customers stating that no mercury is present in the castings we sell or in any part of processing of castings. We don't have any mercury where I work except what is present in a few laboratory thermometers. We keep these thermometers in sealed wooden cases and only use them for specific lab tasks. The mercury is totally enclosed. If they break in handling, always wear gloves and personal protective equipment to clean them up.
Once you are done playing with it you would be best to sell it. Mercury is normally sold in "flasks". A flask is a 76 pound unit. The price varies and may be from 100 to 200 dollars per flask I don't know where you could sell it nor how you could dispose of it. If you don't already own it, don't buy it or "obtain" it unless you have a plan on how you will get rid of it. Always wear gloves and personal protective equipment.
Mark
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Mark wrote:

Jeeze, when I was a young kid (pre-1950) we used to rub mercury on the then real silver US coins with our fingers and it would grab onto them and make them look REAL shiny for about a day, before all the mercury got amalgamated - then they'd look like "shite".
So how come I and all the other kids are still here to tell about it? <G>
Jeff (Who turned in his last little vial of mercury during our town's "thermometer drive" about five year's ago.)
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