Mercury seemed to be a good liquid to use in thermometers. But why are most liquids expanding non-linearly with increase of temperature compared to other liquids?

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    $\begingroup$ Note that the thermal expansion of mercury is not purely linear, but is linear enough for an OK thermometer from 0 to 100C. NIST points to 'A Critical Evaluation of the Thermophysical Properties of Mercury, G.J.F. Holman and C.A. ten Seldam, in J. Phys. Chem. Ref. Data. 23(5) 807-827 (1994) for their preferred values. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Jun 23 '16 at 17:50
  • $\begingroup$ The small but not zero thermal expansion is due to its mass and the fact that its liquid range is almost 400° C. Few other room temperature liquids have such large ranges. $\endgroup$ – user31346 Jun 23 '16 at 23:37

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