Bismuth is a brittle metal with a silvery white color when freshly produced, but surface oxidation can give it a pink tinge. Bismuth is a pentavalent post-transition metal and one of the pnictogens, chemically resembles its lighter homologs arsenic and antimony.
Protons and Neutrons in Bismuth
Bismuth is a chemical element with atomic number 83 which means there are 83 protons in its nucleus. Total number of protons in the nucleus is called the atomic number of the atom and is given the symbol Z. The total electrical charge of the nucleus is therefore +Ze, where e (elementary charge) equals to 1,602 x 10-19 coulombs.
The total number of neutrons in the nucleus of an atom is called the neutron number of the atom and is given the symbol N. Neutron number plus atomic number equals atomic mass number: N+Z=A. The difference between the neutron number and the atomic number is known as the neutron excess: D = N – Z = A – 2Z.
For stable elements, there is usually a variety of stable isotopes. Isotopes are nuclides that have the same atomic number and are therefore the same element, but differ in the number of neutrons. Mass numbers of typical isotopes of Bismuth are 209.
Main Isotopes of Bismuth
Bismuth occurs in 2 natural isotopes: 209Bi and 210Bi. Both are very slightly radioactive. 209Bi is the most common isotope, having a natural abundance of approximately 100%. 210Bi occurs only in traces.
Bismuth-209 is composed of 83 protons, 126 neutrons, an 83 electrons.
Bismuth-210 is composed of 83 protons, 127 neutrons, an 83 electrons.
Electrons and Electron Configuration
The number of electrons in an electrically-neutral atom is the same as the number of protons in the nucleus. Therefore, the number of electrons in neutral atom of Bismuth is 83. Each electron is influenced by the electric fields produced by the positive nuclear charge and the other (Z – 1) negative electrons in the atom.
Since the number of electrons and their arrangement are responsible for the chemical behavior of atoms, the atomic number identifies the various chemical elements. The configuration of these electrons follows from the principles of quantum mechanics. The number of electrons in each element’s electron shells, particularly the outermost valence shell, is the primary factor in determining its chemical bonding behavior. In the periodic table, the elements are listed in order of increasing atomic number Z.
Electron configuration of Bismuth is [Hg] 6p3.
Possible oxidation states are +3,5.
Most Common Application of Bismuth
Bismuth oxide is used as a yellow pigment for cosmetics and paints. Bismuth alloys are used in soldering, thermocouple materials and magnetic memory devices. Compounds of bismuth are used in lubricating greases, thermoelectric materials, infrared spectrometers. Bismuth oxychloride (BiOCl) is sometimes used in cosmetics, as a pigment in paint for eye shadows, hair sprays and nail polishes.
Bismuth was long considered the element with the highest atomic mass that is stable, but in 2003 it was discovered to be extremely weakly radioactive: its only primordial isotope, bismuth-209, decays via alpha decay with a half-life more than a billion times the estimated age of the universe.
|Number of protons||83|
|Number of neutrons (typical isotopes)||209|
|Number of electrons||83|
|Electron configuration||[Hg] 6p3|
Properties of other elements