you have to look at the different classification systems we have in place for things like this. we know that metals conduct electricity. we also know that to create a bond with a non metal for example, Hg would have to give up it's electrons in order to have a more stable outer electron shell. the different orbitals in Hg show that it behaves like a metal, although i forgot how exactly orbitals work. it's simply the classification of different substances and how the react is what they are defined as.