Chemical Elements History and Information Bismuth

About the chemical element Bismuth, its symbol, atomic number and weight, who discovered it and when.

The Atomic Elements and Their Uses

(Element) (Symbol) (Atomic number) (Atomic weight)

Bismuth Bi 83 208.9808

First described by Basil Valentine of Germany in 1450, it was not accurately identified until 1754, by Claude Francois Geoffrey the Younger of France. Bismuth is one of two elements--gallium is the other--that shrink when they melt. In the 18th century it was used to treat gastric spasms and dyspepsia. During this century it proved effective in stemming the epidemic of syphilis that followed W. W. I. The "frosty" look in women's cosmetics comes from adding bismuth oxychloride to the formula. In 1966--a big year for "pearlescence"--manufacturers used several hundred thousand pounds of bismuth in lipstick, eye shadow, etc.

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