Chemical Element: bismuth

(German: Wismut [wise, “meadow”] plus [mut, “claim to a mine”]; changed to bismat; metal)

Chemical-Element Information

Symbol: Bi
Atomic number: 83
Year discovered: no data

Discovered by: Known since ancient times, but no one is identified.

  • In early times bismuth was confused with tin and lead.
  • Georgius Agricola, the mining and metallurgy historian, in the 16th century regarded bismuth as a true metal and distinct from metals such as tin, lead, and antimony.
  • German, Bismut (now also spelled Wismut) was Latinized by Georgius Agricola in 1530 as bisemutum.
  • Claude J. Geoffroy, the Younger, showed it to be distinct from lead in 1753.
  • Because of their low melting points, bismuth eutectic alloys are used in automatic sprinkler systems, fuse and safety plugs, and in automatic fire-alarm systems.

  • Name in other languages:

    French: bismuth

    German: Bismut or Wismut

    Italian: bismuto

    Spanish: bismuto

    Information about other elements may be seen at this Chemical Elements List.

    A special unit about words that include chemo-, chem- may be seen here.