Bismuth (Bi) is a chemical element that has a white, silver-pink hue in its native form. It is one of the first 10 metals to have been discovered and it has an atomic number of 83. Until 2003, it was considered as the element with highest atomic mass that is actually stable. In 2003 however, it was discovered to be weakly radioactive because its primordial isotope showed an alpha decay with an incredibly long half-life. This half-life was estimated to be around a billion times the estimated age of the universe.
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Upon exposure to air, the surface of bismuth crystal oxidizes. The level of oxidation varies over the whole surface of the crystal which gives it some unique physical properties. For example, since the oxidation layer over the surface of the crystal varies, different wavelengths of light interfere after reflection from the surface of the crystal. This makes the crystal exhibit a rainbow of colors so to speak.
How can they be made at home?
With the help of NightHawkInLight, we are able to present a video to you on how to make your own personal bismuth crystals. You would need some bismuth ignots and a frying pan for starters. You might also want to get some goggles, thick leather gloves, and anything to protect your clothes and body, just in case.