/euh mal"geuhm/, n.
1. an alloy of mercury with another metal or metals.
2. an alloy that consists chiefly of silver mixed with mercury and variable amounts of other metals and is used as a dental filling.
3. a rare mineral, an alloy of silver and mercury, occurring as silver-white crystals or grains.
4. a mixture or combination: His character is a strange amalgam of contradictory traits.
[1425-75; late ME amalgam(e) < MF < ML < dial. Ar al the + malgham < Gk málagma softening agent, equiv. to malak- (s. of malássein to soften) + -ma n. suffix]

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Alloy of mercury and one or more other metals.

Those of silver, gold, and palladium occur naturally. Those with a very high mercury content are liquid; others are crystalline. Amalgams of silver and tin, with minor amounts of copper and zinc, are used in dentistry to fill teeth. Sodium amalgam is used in manufacturing chlorine and sodium hydroxide by electrolysis of brine. Amalgams are used to recover silver and gold from their ores: The ore is shaken with mercury, the amalgam is separated and heated until the mercury distills off (see distillation), and the precious metal is the residue. Amalgams are also used to silver mirrors and apply other metal coatings.

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      alloy of mercury and one or more other metals. Amalgams are crystalline in structure, except for those with a high mercury content, which are liquid. Known since early times, they were mentioned by Pliny the Elder in the 1st century AD. In dentistry, an amalgam of silver and tin, with minor amounts of copper and zinc, is used to fill teeth.

      A sodium amalgam is formed during the manufacture of chlorine and sodium hydroxide by the electrolysis of brine in cells wherein a stream of mercury constitutes the negative electrode. Reaction of the amalgam with water produces a solution of sodium hydroxide and regenerates the mercury for reuse.

      Fine particles of silver and gold can be recovered by agitating their ores with mercury and allowing the resultant pasty or liquid amalgam to settle. By distillation of the amalgam, the mercury is reclaimed, and the precious metals are isolated as a residue.

      Amalgams of silver, gold, and palladium are known in nature. Moschellandsbergite, silver amalgam, is found at Moschellandsberg, Ger.; Sala, Swed.; and Isère, France. Gold amalgam occurs in California, U.S., Colombia, and Borneo. For detailed physical properties of naturally occurring amalgams, see native element (table).

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Amalgam — Sn (Quecksilberlegierung) erw. fach. (16. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus ml. amalgama Gemisch, speziell aus einem Metall und Quecksilber , das auf arab. al malġam schmelzende Substanz, Legierung von Metallen und Quecksilber zurückgeht; dieses… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • amalgam — a*mal gam ([.a]*m[a^]l gam), n. [F. amalgame, prob. fr. L. malagma, Gr. ma lagma, emollient, plaster, poultice, fr. mala ssein to make soft, fr. malako s soft.] 1. An alloy of mercury with another metal or metals; as, an amalgam of tin, bismuth,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Amalgām [1] — Amalgām (griech. arab.), Quecksilberlegierung; amalgamieren, Metall mit Quecksilber verbinden, mit Amalgam überziehen; innig verbinden, verschmelzen. Näheres über Amalgame und Amalgamierung (Amalgamation) s. Quecksilberlegierungen, Gold und… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • amalgam — [ə mal′gəm] n. [ME < ML amalgama, prob. via Ar < Gr malagma, an emollient < malassein, to soften: for IE base see MILL1] 1. any alloy of mercury with another metal or other metals [silver amalgam is used as a dental filling] 2. a… …   English World dictionary

  • amalgam — a*mal gam, v. t. & i. [Cf. F. amalgamer] To amalgamate. Boyle. B. Jonson. [1913 Webster] || …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Amalgam — Amalgam. См. Амальгама. (Источник: «Металлы и сплавы. Справочник.» Под редакцией Ю.П. Солнцева; НПО Профессионал , НПО Мир и семья ; Санкт Петербург, 2003 г.) …   Словарь металлургических терминов

  • Amalgām [2] — Amalgām, Mineral, s. Silberamalgam …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Amalgam — Amalgām (arab.), die Legierung eines Metalls mit Quecksilber. Das A. findet Verwendung in der Spiegelfabrikation (Zinn A.) und der Feuervergoldung, dient ferner zum Belegen der Reibzeuge an Elektrisiermaschinen (Kienmayers A.: 2 Teile Quecksilber …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

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