What Is The Only Metallic Element That Is Liquid At Room Temperature?

Aashita Dhingra
Oct 13, 2023 By Aashita Dhingra
Originally Published on Oct 30, 2021
Mercury pouring from a pipette.

Bromine is believed to be the only non-metallic element that is in liquid form at room temperature.

Metals that assume liquid form at room temperature are mercury and gallium. Let's learn more about them.

Have you ever seen a thermometer? Different types of thermometers are used to measure different types of temperatures. There are two types of standard thermometers used to check the temperature of our bodies.

One shows a number on a digital screen and the other has a line that moves up and down to tell the temperature of our body. The moving line in the second type of thermometer is actually a liquid that expands when heated. That liquid element is mercury.

Do you know why elements expand when heated? This is because the atoms of the elements move away from each other when receiving energy, and heat is a type of energy.

So, when heated by your body heat, mercury expands and tells the temperature. Read this article to learn more about science. You will find some cool and interesting facts which will surely surprise you.

After reading all about the boiling points and melting points of different elements, do check out what is the only dog breed specifically mentioned in the bible and what is the smallest particle of an element.

What elements become liquid at room temperature?

Do you know why some elements are in a solid-state and some are liquid at room temperature? It is because of the physical bond of atoms and molecules. The stronger the bond, the more solid the elements.

The weaker the bond, the more liquid the element. When molecules are close to each other they form hard solids, but when they are far apart they form a loose structure which results in a liquid form. Gallium and mercury are the only metals that are liquids at room temperature.

Imagine yourself as the molecule of an element. When you are in a classroom, all the students sit close to each other, like the molecules in the solid forms of the elements. When you are in the playground, you all are far apart from each other, forming a loose structure, just like liquid elements.

There are not many liquid elements that have a low melting point. These elements melt with minimal heat present at ordinary room temperature.

Bromine, mercury, cesium, rubidium, francium, and gallium are many such elements. These all have a loose atomic bond that cannot tolerate much heat and becomes liquids at room temperature.

From this list, cesium, francium, rubidium, and gallium are not generally liquid at room temperature. They need to be at temperatures a little above it. However, bromine and mercury can be found in liquid even at room temperature because of their low melting point.

If someone asks you, what is the only metallic element that is liquid at room temperature, then the answer is mercury. This is because bromine is not a metallic element.

Is liquid metal dangerous?

Liquid metals are not commonly used in daily life. The only liquid metal which we commonly use in our daily life is mercury. As explained earlier, mercury is used in thermometers to check our body temperature. Have you ever thought about what would happen if mercury accidentally spilled in your mouth?

Well, unfortunately, mercury is radioactive and very hazardous. It is a highly reactive element. Sometimes, water is contaminated because of mercury, which spreads hazardous diseases. Mercury reacts with hydrogen sulfide present in the atmosphere.

Mercury is one of the toxic, reactive liquid elements, but there are liquid elements that are not toxic for our health, such as gallium. Gallium is a liquid metal but it is non-toxic to health. This does not mean that you can taste gallium. You should not touch anything in the science lab without your teacher’s permission.

Can you touch liquid metal?

Did you know that rubidium ignites spontaneously to form rubidium oxide?

Whether or not you can touch a liquid metal depends on the metal you're going to touch. If you are talking about mercury then you definitely should not touch it.

It is not a good metal to touch. However, there is a metal that is liquid at ordinary room temperature and safe to touch. It is a non-toxic metal called gallium.

You can touch gallium when it is in a liquid state or you can take a piece of solid gallium and place it on your palm. Seeing these liquid elements melting is beautiful.

With your body heat, the solid gallium will melt beautifully. It is not harmful to touch gallium with your bare hands. You can also see some videos of gallium melting on the internet.

Copernicium and flerovium are widely known radioactive elements that have been created by humans, but the lack of samples poses a problem in determining their melting points.

What happens if you touch liquid metal?

If you touch a non-toxic metal that is liquid at room temperature, such as gallium, then it shouldn't do you any harm. However, if you touch a toxic metal that is liquid at room temperature, such as mercury, this can be harmful. You will need to approach a doctor as soon as possible.

Other than the metals which are liquid at room temperature, have you ever thought about what happens to the metals which are not liquid at room temperature? The metals which are not liquid at room temperature require a lot of heat to reach their melting point.

Metals such as lead become liquid when heated to their melting point, and can flow like magma. At this stage, these metals are extremely hot, and touching them is equal to touching the fire. You would never want to burn yourself, right?

So, you need to stay away from these melting metals. However, you can have fun with gallium to bring out your inner scientist.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for what is the only metallic element that is liquid at room temperature?

then why not take a look at hornet Vs yellow jacket: the look alike insect difference simplified! Or cold blooded animals: curious animal body temperature facts for kids.

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Aashita Dhingra

Bachelors in Business Administration

Aashita Dhingra picture

Aashita DhingraBachelors in Business Administration

Based in Lucknow, India, Aashita is a skilled content creator with experience crafting study guides for high school-aged kids. Her education includes a degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's Convent Inter College, which she leverages to bring a unique perspective to her work. Aashita's passion for writing and education is evident in her ability to craft engaging content.

Read full bio >