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Name, Symbol, NumberBismuth, Bi, 83
Chemical series True metals[?]
Group, Period, Block15 (VA), 6 , p
Density, Hardness 9780 kg/m3, 2.25
Appearance lustrous
reddish white
Atomic Properties
Atomic weight 208.98038 amu
Atomic radius (calc.) 160 (143) pm
Covalent radius 146 pm
van der Waals radius no data
Electron configuration [Xe]4f14 5d10 6s2 6p3
e- 's per energy level2, 8, 18, 32, 18, 5
Oxidation states (Oxide) 3, 5 (mildly acidic)
Crystal structure Rhombohedral
Physical Properties
State of matter Solid
Melting point 544.4 K (520.3 °F)
Boiling point 1837 K (2847 °F)
Molar volume 21.31 ×10-3 m3/mol
Heat of vaporization 104.8 kJ/mol
Heat of fusion 11.3 kJ/mol
Vapor pressure 0.000627 Pa at 544 K
Speed of sound 1790 m/s at 293.15 K
Electronegativity 2.02 (Pauling scale)
Specific heat capacity 122 J/(kg×K)
Electrical conductivity 0.867 106/m ohm
Thermal conductivity 07.87 W/(m×K)
1st ionization potential 703 kJ/mol
2nd ionization potential 1610 kJ/mol
3rd ionization potential 2466 kJ/mol
4th ionization potential 4370 kJ/mol
5th ionization potential 5400 kJ/mol
6th ionization potential 8520 kJ/mol
Most Stable Isotopes
isoNAhalf-life DMDE MeVDP
207Bi{syn.}31.55 yEpsilon2.399207Pb
208Bi{syn.}3,368,000 yEpsilon2.880208Pb
209Bi100%(1.9±0.2) ×1019yAlpha 205 Tl
SI units & STP are used except where noted.
Bismuth is a chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Bi and atomic number 83. This is heavy, brittle, white crystalline trivalent true metal[?] that has a pink tinge and chemically resembles arsenic and antimony. Most diamagnetic of all metals, bismuth has the lowest thermal conductivity of all the elements except mercury. Lead-free bismuth compounds are used in cosmetics and in medical procedures.

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Notable Characteristics

Before 2003, Bismuth was thought to be the heavest stable element, however research at the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale[?] in Orsay[?], France calculated the alpha emission half-life of the metal to be (1.9 +/- 0.2) × 1019 years. It is is a brittle metal with a pinkish hue with an iridescent tarnish. Among the heavy metals, it is the heaviest and the only non-toxic. No other metal is more diamagnetic than bismuth, except mercury. This metal, which occurs in its native form, has a high electrical resistance and also has the highest Hall effect of any metal (that is, it has the greatest increase in electrical resistance when it is placed in a magnetic field). When heated in air bismuth burns with a blue flame and its oxide[?] forms yellow fumes.


Bismuth oxychloride[?] is extensively used in cosmetics and bismuth subnitrate[?] and subcarbonate[?] are used in medicine. Other uses; "Bismanol[?]" (MnBi) is a strong permanent magnet.

  • Bismuth alloys have low-melting temperature and are widely used for fire detection and suppression system safety devices.
  • Bismuth is used in producing malleable irons and is finding use as a catalyst for making acrylic fibers.
  • Also used as a thermocouple material.
  • A carrier for U-235 or U233 fuel in nuclear reactors.
  • Bismuth has also been used in solders.

In the early 1990s, research began on the evaluation of bismuth as a nontoxic replacement for lead in such uses as ceramic glazes, fishing sinkers, food processing equipment, free-machining brasses for plumbing applications, lubricating greases, and shot for waterfowl hunting. History Bismuth (German Weisse Masse meaning "white mass"; later Wisuth and Bisemutum) was confused in early times with tin and lead due to its resemblance to those elements. In 1753 Claude Geoffroy Junine[?] showed that this metal is distinct from lead. Occurrence Bismuthinite[?] and bismite[?] are the most important ores of bismuth. Canada, Bolivia, Japan, Mexico, and Peru are major producers. Bismuth produced in the United States is obtained as a by-product of copper, gold, lead, silver, tin and especially lead ore processing. The average price for bismuth in 2000 was US$ 3.50 per pound.

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