Bismuth

Carly Ludwig

Fun Facts

  • Bismuth is often confused with lead and tin due to its appearance
  • Bismuth was one of the first of ten metals to be discovered and classified
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History

Bismuth has been known for many years but was only classified as an element in 1753. The original discoverer of Bismuth is unknown, but we do know that Claude Geoffory the Young was the person to actually prove that Bismuth is an element.

Where it can be found

Bismuth is found naturally and can be seen in minerals such as bismuthinite and bismite. Large deposits of Bismuth can be found in Bolivia. It is also found in the process of mining for lead, copper, tin, silver, and gold.

Properties

Bismuth has an atomic mass of 208.98 amu. It also has an atomic radius of 143 pm. The melting point of Bismuth is 271.3 degrees Celsius and a boiling point of 1564 degrees Celsius. At room temperature Bismuth stays a solid. It has a density of 9.78 g/cc. Bismuth is a silvery and pink-tinged metal. Even though it is a metal, Bismuth has one of the lowest levels of conductivity out of all metals. Bismuth can form malleable irons. On the hardness scale Bismuth can vary from a 2-2.5. Bismuth is also non-toxic and radioactive. Bismuth is not very flammable or reactive.
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Atomic Structure

Bismuth has an atomic number of 83. The same number applies to the protons and electrons in Bismuth. The mass number of Bismuth is 208.98 and the amount of neutrons it has is 126. You can find Bismuth on the period table six rows down and four in from the right.

Applications and Uses

Bismuth is used as a mixture with different metals. Bismuth oxide, a compund, is used as a yellow pigment in cosmetics and paint. Bismuth is also a key ingredient in Pepto-Bismol which helps with stomach and digestive issues. The majority of Bismuth's isotopes are not stable. One of the isotopes is used to treat leukemia and other cancers.

Compounds

Bismuth oxide is used as a shade of yellow in paints and cosmetics. Bismuth oxychloride creates a color called bismuth white and bismuth carbonate is used to treat and help stomach problems.

Name

Bismuth's name comes from the German words that mean white mass "weisse masse." This name was later changed to "wisuth."

Sources

- Element Card: Gray, Theodore W. (2008). The Photographic Card Deck of the Elements.

- Elements Book: Gray, Theodore W. (2009). The Elements: A visual exploration of every known atom in the universe. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.

- Jefferson Lab- http://education.jlab.org/itselemental/

- Los Alamos National Laboratory- http://periodic.lanl.gov/index.shtml

- Royal Society of Chemistry- http://www.rsc.org/periodic-table