Bismuth is a brittle greyish-white metal with a pinkish tinge.
Bismuth has been known since the early fifteenth century, but was often confused with lead and tin until Claude Geoffrey the Younger clearly proved its distinctiveness in 1753. Bismuth can be found as crystals of the native metal, but is most often obtained from metallurgical byproducts such as lead bullion from smelting of lead, silver, copper, or gold. Bismuth has the lowest thermal conductivity of all metals. Because bismuth melts at 545 degrees kelvin, it is used in low-melting alloys with tin and cadmium for such products as electric fuses, solder, and fire detectors. Bismuth is also used in pharmaceuticals, medicine, and cosmetics such as lipstick and eye polish.
Citation of a publication:
Acta Crystallographica 15 (1962)
p 865-872; Cucka, P. Barrett, C.S.
Obtained from the Inorganic Crystal Structure Database
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