Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Geochemistry

Part of the series Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series pp 1-3

Date: Latest Version

Bismuth

  • Cristiana L. CiobanuAffiliated withSchool of Chemical Engineering, The University of Adelaide Email author 
  • , Nigel J. CookAffiliated withSchool of Chemical Engineering, The University of Adelaide Email author 

Element Data

Atomic symbol: Bi

Atomic number: 83

Atomic weight: 208.9804

Isotopes and abundances: Bi209 (100 %) – several other isotopes are short-lived intermediate products of U238 (Bi210 and Bi214), U235 (Bi211 and Bi213), and Th232 (Bi212) decay. Bi209 is a rare primordial isotope, discovered in 2003, that decays via α-decay with a half-life greater than a billion times the age of the universe.

1 Atm melting point: 544.52 °C

1 Atm boiling point: 1837 °C

Common valences: +3 (0, +5)

Ionic radii: 3+: 101 pm

Pauling electronegativity: 2.02

First ionization potential: 703 kJ mol−1

Chondritic (CI) abundance: 0.11 ppm

Silicate Earth abundance: 0.003 ppm

Crustal abundance: 0.025 ppm

Seawater abundance: 0.015 μg/l

Core abundance: ~0.03 ppm

Ahrens and Erlank (1969), Angino and Long (1979), Norman (1998), Palme and O’Neill (2014)

Properties

Bismuth is a brittle, diamagnetic, reddish white metal which tarnishes to a brassy color and is a poor conductor of heat and electricity. Chemically, bismu ...

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