Physicists discover 'magnetotoroidic effect'

(PhysOrg.com) -- For many years, scientists have known about the magnetoelectric effect, in which an electric field can induce and control a magnetic field, and vice versa. In this effect, the electric field has always been ...

Exotic spiraling electrons discovered by physicists

Rutgers and other physicists have discovered an exotic form of electrons that spin like planets and could lead to advances in lighting, solar cells, lasers and electronic displays.

Artificial topological matter opens new research directions

An international team of researchers have created a new structure that allows the tuning of topological properties in such a way as to turn on or off these unique behaviors. The structure could open up possibilities for new ...

New material shares many of graphene's unusual properties

Graphene, a single-atom-thick layer of carbon, has spawned much research into its unique electronic, optical and mechanical properties. Now, researchers at MIT have found another compound that shares many of graphene’s ...

Exotic material shows promise as flexible, transparent electrode

(PhysOrg.com) -- An international team of scientists with roots at SLAC and Stanford has shown that ultra-thin sheets of an exotic material remain transparent and highly conductive even after being deeply flexed 1,000 times ...

Enhancing the magnetism

(PhysOrg.com) -- Berkeley researchers find enhanced and controllable magnetization in unique bismuth ferrite films.

New Path To Solar Energy Via Solid-State Photovoltaics

(PhysOrg.com) -- Berkeley Lab researchers have found a new mechanism by which the photovoltaic effect can take place in semiconductor thin-films. This new path to energy production brightens the future for photovoltaic technology ...

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Bismuth

Bismuth ( /ˈbɪzməθ/ biz-məth) is a chemical element with symbol Bi and atomic number 83. Bismuth, a trivalent poor metal, chemically resembles arsenic and antimony. Elemental bismuth may occur naturally uncombined, although its sulfide and oxide form important commercial ores. The free element is 86% as dense as lead. It is a brittle metal with a silvery white color when newly made, but often seen in air with a pink tinge owing to the surface oxide. Bismuth metal has been known from ancient times, although until the 18th century it was often confused with lead and tin, which each have some of the metal's bulk physical properties. The etymology is uncertain but possibly comes from Arabic "bi ismid" meaning having the properties of antimony or German words weisse masse or wismuth meaning white mass.

Bismuth is the most naturally diamagnetic of all metals, and only mercury has a lower thermal conductivity.

Bismuth has classically been considered to be the heaviest naturally occurring stable element, in terms of atomic mass. Recently, however, it has been found to be very slightly radioactive: its only primordial isotope bismuth-209 decays via alpha decay into thallium-205 with a half-life of more than a billion times the estimated age of the universe.

Bismuth compounds (accounting for about half the production of bismuth) are used in cosmetics, pigments, and a few pharmaceuticals. Bismuth has unusually low toxicity for a heavy metal. As the toxicity of lead has become more apparent in recent years, alloy uses for bismuth metal (presently about a third of bismuth production), as a replacement for lead, have become an increasing part of bismuth's commercial importance.

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