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|Name, Symbol, Number|| bismuth, Bi, 83
|Chemical series||Poor metals|
|Group, Period, Block||15, 6, p|
|Appearance|| Lustrous Pink|
|Atomic mass||208.98040(1) g·mol−1 (2) g/mol|
|Electron configuration||[Xe]4f14 5d10 6s2 6p3|
|Electrons per shell||2, 8, 18, 32, 5|
|Density (near r.t.)||9.78 g·cm−3|
|Liquid density at m.p.||10.05 g·cm−3|
|Melting point|| 544.7 K|
(271.5 °C, 520.7 °F)
|Boiling point|| 1837 K|
(1564 °C, 2847 °F)
|Heat of fusion||11.3 kJ·mol−1|
|Heat of vaporization||151 kJ·mol−1|
|Heat capacity||(25 °C) (25oC) 25.52 J·mol−1·K−1|
|Oxidation states||3, 5 (mildly acidic oxide)|
|Electronegativity||2.02 (Pauling scale)|
| Ionization energies|
|1st: 703 kJ·mol−1|
|2nd: 1,610 kJ·mol−1|
|3rd: 2,466 kJ·mol−1|
|Atomic radius||160 pm|
|Atomic radius (calc.)||143 pm|
|Covalent radius||146 pm|
|Electrical resistivity||(20 °C) 1.29 nΩ·m|
|Thermal conductivity||(300 K) 7.97 W·m−1·K−1|
|Thermal expansion||(25 °C) 13.4 µm·m−1·K−1|
|Speed of sound (thin rod)|| (r.t.) (thin rod)|
|Young's modulus||32 GPa|
|Shear modulus||12 GPa|
|Bulk modulus||31 GPa|
|Brinell hardness||94.2 MPa|
|CAS registry number||7440-69-6|
Bismuth (pronounced /ˈbɪzməθ/) is a Chemical Element. It has a the symbol of Bi and the atomic number of 83. This heavy, brittle, white crystalline trivalent poor metal has a pink tinge and chemically resembles arsenic and antimony. Of all the metals, it is the most naturally diamagnetic, and only mercury has a lower thermal conductivity.
Bismuth compounds are used in cosmetics and in medical procedures. As the toxicity of lead has become more apparent in recent years, alloy uses for bismuth metal as a replacement for lead have become an increasing part of bismuth's commercial importance.
Elemental bismuth is one of very few substances of which the liquid phase is denser than its solid phase (water being the best-known example). Because bismuth expands on freezing, it was long an important component of low-melting typesetting alloys, which needed to expand to fill printing molds.
While bismuth was traditionally regarded as the element with the heaviest stable isotope, it had long been suspected to be unstable on theoretical grounds. This was finally demonstrated in 2003 when researchers at the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale in Orsay, France, measured the alpha emission half-life of 209Bi to be 1.9 x 1019 years, over a billion times longer than the current estimated age of the universe. Owing to its extraordinarily long half-life, for nearly all applications bismuth can be treated as if it is stable and non-radioactive. The radioactivity is of academic interest, however, because bismuth is one of few elements whose radioactivity was suspected, and indeed theoretically predicted, before being detected in the laboratory.
Bismuth is a brittle metal with a pinkish hue, often occurring in its native form with an iridescent oxide tarnish showing many refractive colors from yellow to blue. When combusted with oxygen, bismuth burns with a blue flame and its oxide forms yellow fumes. Its toxicity is much lower than that of its neighbors in the periodic table such as lead, thallium, and antimony.
No other metal is more naturally diamagnetic (as opposed to superdiamagnetic) than bismuth, and it has a high electrical resistance. Of any metal, it has the second lowest thermal conductivity and the highest Hall coefficient. When deposited in sufficiently thin layers on a substrate, bismuth is a semiconductor, rather than a poor metal.
Bismuth (New Latin bisemutum from German Wismuth, perhaps from weiße Masse, "white mass") was confused in early times with tin and lead because of its resemblance to those elements. Basilius Valentinus described some of its uses in 1450. Claude François Geoffroy showed in 1753 that this metal is distinct from lead.
Artificial bismuth was commonly used in place of the actual mineral. It was made by hammering tin into thin plates, and cementing them by a mixture of white tartar, saltpeter, and arsenic, stratified in a crucible over an open fire.
Bismuth was also known to the Incas and used (along with the usual copper and tin) in a special bronze alloy for knives.
In the Earth's crust, bismuth is about twice as abundant as gold. It is not usually economical to mine it as a primary product. Rather, it is usually produced as a byproduct of the processing of other metal ores, especially lead, but also tungsten or other metal alloys.
The most important ores of bismuth are bismuthinite and bismite. In 2005, China was the top producer of bismuth with at least 40% of the world share followed by Mexico and Peru, reports the British Geological Survey.
The average price for bismuth in 2000 was US$ 7.70 per kilogram. It is relatively cheap, since like lead (but to a much lesser extent), it is radiogenic, being formed from the natural decay of uranium and thorium (specifically, by way of neptunium-237 or uranium-233).