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Bismuth Diamagnetic Properties

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Uploaded on Jun 18, 2008

Bismuth (element no. 83) is one of the weirdest elements. Though encircle in the periodic table by other heavy elements with infamous toxicological history, Bismuth is considered the least toxic of these metals.

Bismuth is known for many strange properties - this video demonstrates its massive diamagnetic behavior:
Bismuth is repelled by magnets but for demonstration it is recommended to use rare-earth magnets, as kitchen-magnets are all too week.

Bismuth is rather expensive but for educational purposes it is worth consideration. For electromagnetic, physical, chemical and artistic purposes it is eminent.
For artwork and metal casting it is a wonderful replacement for the toxic Lead (Pb). Furthermore Bismuth forms low melting alloys with many other metals. In its pure form it is very brittle, with a reddish luster. Cooled slowly it forms large, beautiful crystals, covered with oxide layers in the colors of the rainbow.

Etching the surface to see the crystals can be done in a dilute solution of hydrochloride to which is added a small amount of hydrogen peroxide (1 part of HCL poured slowly in 3-5 parts of water. Then you add 1 part of 35-40% H2O2).
Dipping a piece of slowly cooled Bismuth in this solution will remove the oxide and reveal the beautiful crystals. The slower the cooling process is, the larger the crystal will be.

Enjoy the fun!

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