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Old 02-09-2006, 02:10 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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For those wondering why bismuth isn't the densest stable element, there are two things which determine the density. First, there's the masses of the individual atoms, and second, there's how far apart the atoms are. How far apart the atoms are in turn depend on the size of the atoms and on the crystalline structure (some arrangements of atoms are more "efficient" than others). Although bismuth has a slightly higher atomic mass, it's forms much less space-efficient crystals, so lead is still denser overall (and gold, tungsten, etc. are denser than lead).
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