A white, crystalline, brittle metallic chemical element with a pinkish tinge; symbol Bi. → Atomic number 83; → atomic weight 208.9804; → melting point 271.3°C; → boiling point about 1,560°C; → specific gravity 9.75 at 20°C; → valence +3 or +5. Bismuth is the most → diamagnetic of all metals. Its thermal conductivity is lower than any metal, except → mercury. There is only one naturally occurring → isotope of bismuth, 209Bi. Bismuth is used in a number of very different applications, chiefly in bismuth alloys, and in pharmaceuticals and chemicals.
From Ger. Bismuth, Wismut, Wissmuth, probably from weisse Masse "white mass," indicating how the element appears in nature.
Of or relating to a → leap year or to the extra day falling in a leap year.
L.L. bissextlis (annus) "year containing an intercalary day," from bisextus, from bis "twice, two, doubled" + sextus "sixth," because in the → Julian calendar the sixth day before the Calends of March was doubled every four years. Same as → leap and → intercalary day.
Andarheli, of or relating to andarhel→ intercalation.
The condition in which a physical system is capable of assuming either of two stable states.
Fr.: bistabilité par saut
An abrupt discontinuity in the → stellar wind properties of → hot stars near → effective temperatures about 21,000 K and 10,000 K, corresponding to O9.5-B3 supergiants (Castor et al. 1975, ApJ 195, 157; Lamers et al., 1995, ApJ 455, 269). At these temperatures the → terminal velocity of the wind drops steeply by about a factor two and the → mass loss rate increases steeply by about a factor three to five, when going from high to low temperatures. Bistability jump is related to the degree of ionization in the wind. With a little drop in the temperature, the dominant driving element (Fe) will recombine to lower ionization stages which produces a lower terminal velocity and a relatively high density in the wind. → wind momentum. Additional bistability jumps may occur at higher temperatures where CNO may provide the dominant line driving, especially for low metallicity stars (Vink et al. 2001, A&A 369, 574). However, a recent study using a larger sample finds that there is a gradual decline in the wind terminal velocities of early B supergiants and not a "jump" (Crowther et al. 2006, A&A 446, 279).
Fr.: mécanisme de bistabilité
The mechanism that accounts for the → bistability jump.