chapter  4
The crystal structure of metals
Pages 9

All metals – and other elements, for that matter – can exist as either gases, liquids or solids. The ‘ state ’ in which a metal exists depends upon the conditions of temperature and pressure which prevail at the time. Thus, mercury will freeze to form a solid, rather like lead, if cooled to – 9 ° C and will boil to form a gas or vapour if heated to 357 ° C at atmospheric pressure. At the other end of the scale, tungsten melts at 3410 ° C and boils at 5930 ° C.