What is Bismuth: Definition and 18 Discussions

Bismuth is a chemical element with the symbol Bi and atomic number 83. It is a pentavalent post-transition metal and one of the pnictogens with chemical properties resembling its lighter group 15 siblings arsenic and antimony. Elemental bismuth may occur naturally, although its sulfide and oxide form important commercial ores. The free element is 86% as dense as lead. It is a brittle metal with a silvery-white color when freshly produced, but surface oxidation can give it an iridescent tinge in numerous colours. Bismuth is the most naturally diamagnetic element and has one of the lowest values of thermal conductivity among metals.
Bismuth was long considered the element with the highest atomic mass that is stable, but in 2003 it was discovered to be extremely weakly radioactive: its only primordial isotope, bismuth-209, decays via alpha decay with a half-life more than a billion times the estimated age of the universe. Because of its tremendously long half-life, bismuth may still be considered stable for almost all purposes.Bismuth metal has been known since ancient times, although it was often confused with lead and tin, which share some physical properties. The etymology is uncertain, but the word may come from the German words weiße Masse or Wismuth ("white mass"), translated in the mid-sixteenth century to New Latin bisemutum or bisemutium.

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  1. mesa

    Difficulty with machining bismuth, any suggestions/tips/other ideas?

    Hello all, we are working with some bismuth for a series of upcoming experiments and are trying to initially keep the purity high for better neutron activation measurements. Unfortunately there has been some difficulty with machining steps on the final pieces with chipping due to the material...
  2. T

    Which metal is safest for hair/scalp? Bismuth, silver or zinc oxide?

    A little background on my experiment … "Henna" (Lawsonia plant hair dye going way back to ancient times) used to be combined with metallic salts to cause it to adhere to the hair and make it thicker with cumulative use. In foreign countries "compound henna" is still being sold but often w/...
  3. N

    Is Melted Bismuth safe to wear as a necklace?

    Is melted bismuth safe to wear pretty much 24/7 around your neck ? I don't want to get a super low radiation hyper bug cancer fungus to appear after 30 yrs... (It touches your skin permanently unless you're running ofc) On top of that, can I smelt bare bismuth (99%) in my kitchen or should I...
  4. R

    Levitating a magnet in a Bismuth bowl?

    I wonder if it would work to cast a thick-waled bowl of bismuth and drop a magnet into it, would not that levitate the magnet? I have seen other setups but they seems more complicated.
  5. B

    Continuing my experimentation with bismuth

    The more i study this strange element, the more interesting it becomes. I found that bismuth only shows it's colorful oxides when exposed to air while hot/molten. I decided to go outside and polish the sample using an abrasive liquid known in Brazil as "Saponáceo Cremoso". Don't know what it's...
  6. B

    Is bismuth safe to handle (touching, carrying it around....)?

    I recently received a 200g sample of pure (99.99%) bismuth for my little element collection. This thing is so cool! It was all broken in pieces and almost powdered, so i melted it into a beautiful ingot using my kitchen stove. Is this metal safe to touch and/or handle with bare, unprotected...
  7. L

    Bismuth Telluride Bandstructure

    Hello everyone I need to calculate with virtual nanolab the bandstructure of bismuth telluride. I want to obtein the follow resoult or obtain the bandstructure to calculate the band gap. The Band structure of Bi2Te3 is: In virtual nanolab, with Hexagonal (and other) symmetry there aren't...
  8. R

    Why does Bismuth have a anomalously high Hall value?

    Bismuth has a hall coefficient 1000 times larger than its free electron value. given that Bi has a distorted cubic structure with 2 atoms per unit cell, suggest a reason for the high hall value. Any ideas appreciated. Thanks.
  9. C

    Effect of electrical field on annealing of thin film bismuth

    I have been reading recently on the properties of evaporated thin film bismuth, particularly grain size and resistivity. Usually evaporated bismuth is amorphous and semimetallic, with very small grain size. Grain size can be increased and resistance lowered by annealing the film. It has been...
  10. C

    Bismuth vs aluminum diamagnetism

    a few weeks ago i bought a number of pieces of 'bismuth' bullions... i already own a piece of aluminum , as well as a few neodymium magnets if i place the magnet on the aluminum and tilt the aluminum to make the magnet slide off, it will encounter some opposing force from eddy currents and...
  11. C

    Metals question - melting bismuth onto aluminum

    hey guys, i am planning on buying some pieces of bismuth, as well as machining a disc of aluminum so that there is a hollow circular 'canal' which goes concentric on the disc aluminum has a melting point of 660.32 degrees celcius, for bismuth it is 271.5 degrees celcius i also have a very...
  12. A

    Measuring the thickness of a thin film of bismuth for Hall Effect experiment.

    Hello there, I'm an undergrad in my 3rd year and I'm doing an investigation into the 'Preparation of Thin Films and their use in Hall Effect measurements.' We are making thin films of bismuth on glass (with pre drilled terminals) in a vacuum system. The way they suggest measuring the...
  13. R

    Find the critical temperature of a bismuth based ceramic

    Hello to all I recently completed an experiment trying to find the critical temperature of a bismuth based ceramic material. I cooled the sample using liquid nitrogen. I have attached my results in an excel file, where I had to plot the sample voltage (Vs) against thermocouple voltage(Vt). My...
  14. P

    Bismuth Bulk-electronic structure

    hi all as known, Bismuth is a semi-metal. the question is: What is the characteristic of the electronic structure of this family (Semi-metal).
  15. J

    Bismuth Compound: Change Colors with Heat

    I have this compound of bismuth that when it is room temp it is green and when it is hot it turns yellow then maroon (dark red). I prepared it by melting bismuth then stirring (while melted in air) until it turned into a green powder with grains roughly the size of granulated sugar or salt. the...
  16. T

    Make Lead from Stable Bismuth: How to Do?

    could anyone tell such a method how one can make stable lead from stable bismuth?
  17. P

    Bismuth sulphide structural diagram

    Can anyone tell me if the structural diagarm of Bismuth(III) Sulphide looks like this: S-S-S l l Bi = Bi
  18. Ivan Seeking

    IMPORTANT QUESTION: Effects of UV and cosmic rays on bismuth

    This is an unusually important question. Could one determine the approximate age of a manufactured bismuth/magnesium/zinc composite somehow by the effects of UV, cosmic rays, or some other type of energetic particle acting on the material? For example, by microscopic examination or by some...