# How is it possible to increase mercury's specific weight?

Is it possible to change mercury's specific weight to make it heavier? By mixing it with anything? But not by changing its temperature.

• Mix it with osmium. – ParaH2 Oct 7 '16 at 21:48
• Gold might be a cheaper option. – Ivan Neretin Oct 7 '16 at 21:52
• Is the mixture a liquid at room temperature? And if you could please tell me about the mixing process ? Ive heard that there's a way to "cheat"it and make it heavier. – user23592 Oct 7 '16 at 21:58
• @IvanNeretin not necessarily. At current market prices, gold is more expensive than any other precious metal. – Gimelist Oct 8 '16 at 2:48
• Use $\ce{^{203}Hg}$ instead. It's 0.5% heavier. – Zhe Nov 7 '16 at 14:54

## 1 Answer

Specific weight is a property of the element. It is product of the atomic mass and the volume. You can't easily alter either.

You could mix an element with another element of a different density and the density of the mixture will change. But you won't be changing the specific mass of the elements, just creating a mixture with a different density.

You can't readily change the mass of an element. But an element might be made up of multiple isotopes (mercury has 4 significant ones with masses ranging from 199 to 202 atomic mass units). If you enrich the mercury for one of those isotopes, you can change the mass, very slightly (for other elements this can be important; fissile isotopes of uranium are concentrated by doing it when making nuclear fuels).

In practice there is nothing practical you can do to alter the density (specific mass) of an element though you can create mixtures with different densities (but then you still haven't altered the properties of the element itself).

• 7 observationally stable isotopes with 204 being the highest according to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotopes_of_mercury – DavePhD Oct 8 '16 at 12:05
• @DavePhD Fair point. I was summarising the top 4 with >10% natural abundance. And I didn't read the full list. ;-) – matt_black Oct 8 '16 at 12:27
• Surely you can alter the density of some elements -- allotropes of the same element often have different densities. Diamond is about 1.5 times as dense as graphite; there's a similar difference between black and white phosphorus. Liquid ozone is denser than liquid oxygen. – jeffB Jun 12 '19 at 17:31