liquid red mercury
liquid red mercury is a chemical element with symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is commonly known as quicksilver and was formerly named hydrargyrum. A heavy, silvery d-block element, mercury is the only metallic element that is liquid at standard conditions for temperature and pressure; the only other element that is liquid under these conditions is bromine, though metals such as caesium, gallium, and rubidium melt just above room temperature.
liquid red mercury is a cherry-red semi-liquid that is produced by irradiating elemental mercury with mercury antimony oxide in a Russian nuclear reactor. Some people think that red mercury is so explosive that it can be used to trigger a fusion reaction in tritium or a deuterium-tritium mixture.
liquid red mercury, a uniquely powerful chemical explosive which has been dismissed by many experts as a myth, could be real, and it could pose a serious threat to the world’s attempts to control the spread of nuclear weapons. New information leaked from South Africa, Russia and the US has convinced leading nuclear weapons scientists that the chemical’s potential risks should now be taken seriously.
The scientists, who include Sam Cohen, the American nuclear physicist who invented the neutron bomb, and Frank Barnaby, the former director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, are worried that red mercury could make it much easier for nations or terrorist groups to construct small but deadly thermonuclear fusion weapons. They are calling for the 178-nation conference on the future of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, due to end in New York in two weeks, to introduce tougher controls on the international trade in tritium, one of the raw materials of the fusion bomb.
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