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Evidence for Low-Temperature Melting of Mercury owing to Relativity

Authors

  • Dr. Florent Calvo,

    Corresponding author
    1. ILM, Université de Lyon and CNRS UMR 5306, 43 Bd du 11 Novembre 1918, 69622 Villeurbanne Cedex (France)
    • ILM, Université de Lyon and CNRS UMR 5306, 43 Bd du 11 Novembre 1918, 69622 Villeurbanne Cedex (France)
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  • Dr. Elke Pahl,

    1. Center of Theoretical Chemistry and Physics, The New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study, Massey University Auckland, Private Bag 102904, North Shore City, 0745 Auckland (New Zealand)
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  • Dr. Michael Wormit,

    1. Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 368, 69120 Heidelberg (Germany)
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  • Prof. Dr. Peter Schwerdtfeger

    Corresponding author
    1. Center of Theoretical Chemistry and Physics, The New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study, Massey University Auckland, Private Bag 102904, North Shore City, 0745 Auckland (New Zealand)
    2. Fachbereich Chemie, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Hans-Meerwein-Strasse, 35032 Marburg (Germany)
    • Center of Theoretical Chemistry and Physics, The New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study, Massey University Auckland, Private Bag 102904, North Shore City, 0745 Auckland (New Zealand)
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  • P.S. is indebted to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Bonn) for financial support in terms of a Humboldt Research Award. Our work on mercury melting started exactly 20 years ago because of Prof. Friedrich Hensel (Marburg), who brought to our attention the many fascinating anomalies in the physical properties of solid and liquid mercury. M.W. also acknowledges funding by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Bonn) in terms of a Feodor-Lynen fellowship. P.S. acknowledges early funding of this research project through a Marsden grant (UOA911) administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Abstract

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An old problem solved: Monte Carlo simulations using the diatomic-in-molecule method derived from accurate ground- and excited-state relativistic calculations for Hg2 show that the melting temperature for bulk mercury is lowered by 105 K, which is due to relativistic effects.

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