• WordNet 3.6
    • n bismuth a heavy brittle diamagnetic trivalent metallic element (resembles arsenic and antimony chemically); usually recovered as a by-product from ores of other metals
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Bismuth (Chem) One of the elements; a metal of a reddish white color, crystallizing in rhombohedrons. It is somewhat harder than lead, and rather brittle; masses show broad cleavage surfaces when broken across. It melts at 507° Fahr., being easily fused in the flame of a candle. It is found in a native state, and as a constituent of some minerals. Specific gravity 9.8. Atomic weight 207.5. Symbol Bi.☞ Chemically, bismuth (with arsenic and antimony is intermediate between the metals and nonmetals; it is used in thermo-electric piles, and as an alloy with lead and tin in the fusible alloy or metal. Bismuth is the most diamagnetic substance known.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n bismuth Chemical symbol, Bi; atomic weight, 208; specific gravity, 9.6 to 9.8. A metal of a peculiar light-reddish color, highly crystalline, and so brittle that it can be pulverized. Its crystalline form is rhombohedral, closely approximating that of the cube. It occurs native in imperfect crystallizations, filiform shapes, and disseminated particles, in the crystalline rocks; also as a sulphuret, and in combination with tellurium and some other metals, and in various oxidized combinations. The native metal and the carbonate (bismutite) are the chief important sources of the bismuth of commerce. Until recently, almost the entire supply of the metal came from Schneeberg in Saxony, where it occurs in combination with ores of cobalt, arsenic, and silver. Nearly all the bismuth of commerce contains at least a trace of silver. Bismuth is a remarkable metal in that its specific gravity is diminished, instead of being increased, by pressure. It is the most diamagnetic of the metals. It fuses at a comparatively low temperature (507°), and is volatilized at a white heat. Alloys of bismuth with tin and lead fuse at a temperature considerably less than that of boiling water. (See Newton's and Rose's metals, under metallurgy) Alloys of the same metals with the addition of cadmium fuse at still lower temperatures; one prepared by Lipowitz remains perfectly fluid at 140°. These alloys have been used to some extent for clichés and for stereotyping, but are now of little practical importance. The chief uses of bismuth are as a medicine and as a cosmetic. For these purposes it is prepared in the form of the subnitrate called in the old pharmaceutical language magisterium bismuthi. The cosmetic, in preparing which the basic chlorid has also been employed, is known as pearl-powder or blanc d'Espagne. Bismuth has of late years been much experimented with as a possible component of useful alloys, for several of which patents have been issued; but no one of these alloys is known to have come into general use. Bismuth has also been used to a limited extent in the manufacture of highly refractive glass, and of strass (which see). It is used with antimony in the thermo-electric pile or battery. (See thermo-electricity.) It has also begun to be used to some extent in the manufacture of porcelain, for the purpose of giving to its surface a peculiar colorless, irised luster, which can also be had of various colors when other metals are used in combination with the bismuth. This metal is one for which the demand is extremely fluctuating, but on the whole increasing; and, as its ores have nowhere been discovered in large quantity, its price has been more variable than that of any other metal, with the possible exception of nickel, running between 55 cents and 85 a pound. The total consumption of the metal is probably between 25 and 50 tons a year, and it comes chiefly from the Erzgebirge (between Saxony and Bohemia), France, South America, and New South Wales. It was called by the alchemists, while in their uncertain condition of knowledge as to its nature, by various names, as marcasita argentea, plumbum cinereum, stannum cinereum, etc.; also called formerly in French étain de glace, corrupted in English into tin-glosse.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Bismuth biz′muth a brittle metal of a reddish-white colour used in the arts and in medicine.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Ger. bismuth, wismuth,: cf. F. bismuth,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Ger. bismuth, wissmuth; origin unknown.


In literature:

Bismuth and Hydratis two oz.
"One Thousand Secrets of Wise and Rich Men Revealed" by C. A. Bogardus
The real calx of bismuth would probably have the same ill effect.
"Zoonomia, Vol. II" by Erasmus Darwin
Bismuth metal is used in alloys, to which it gives low fusibility combined with hardness and sharp definition.
"The Economic Aspect of Geology" by C. K. Leith
From the former mine native silver, cobalt, and bismuth have also been obtained.
"The Mines and its Wonders" by W.H.G. Kingston
The cavity is packed with iodoform or bismuth gauze.
"Manual of Surgery Volume Second: Extremities--Head--Neck. Sixth Edition." by Alexander Miles
Fuse in a crucible half an ounce of tin, with the same quantity of bismuth.
"The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches," by Mary Eaton
Repeat the bismuth and creolin with flaxseed tea every four hours.
"Special Report on Diseases of Cattle" by U.S. Department of Agriculture
Oxyd of bismuth bismuth.
"Elements of Chemistry," by Antoine Lavoisier
As another instance of this kind, the decomposition of bismuth chloride by water may be cited.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 1" by Various
A small amount of bismuth is also obtained.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 7, Slice 4" by Various

In news:

Q-BI58 is composed of 42% tin and 58% bismuth (known as Sn42/Bi58) lead-free wire solder.
108 minutes Rated R. The best work to date (2004) by screenwriter Charlie Kaufman ( Being John Malkovich, Adaptation ), this was developed from a story by director Michel Gondry and artist Pierre Bismuth.
Results from analysis of hair samples from babies with birth defects that were sent to Germany reveal trace amounts of mercury, uranium, bismuth, according to a study conducted by Dr Alani and Dr Christopher Busby.
The best way to deodorize gas is with bismuth.

In science:

FIG. 42 (Color) A parametric plot of the sharp onset in scattering plotted versus the independently measured plasmon frequency in elemental bismuth.
Electrodynamics of correlated electron systems
Tediosi et al., “Charge Carrier Interaction with a Purely Electronic Collective Mode: Plasmarons and the Infrared Response of Elemental Bismuth”, Phys.
Electrodynamics of correlated electron systems
Nilssen, Electric field effects and screening in mesoscopic bismuth wires, J.
Electron Transport in Hybrid Metallic Nanostructures (Metallic Nanoelectronics)
Discovery of thallium, lead, bismuth, and polonium.
Discovery of the thallium, lead, bismuth, and polonium isotopes
Fig. 1: Original nomenclature of thallium, lead, bismuth, and polonium isotopes within the three natural occurring radioactive decay series.
Discovery of the thallium, lead, bismuth, and polonium isotopes