What is the structure of liquid Bismuth? Academic Article uri icon


  • The structure of liquid Bismuth is probably the best-studied among elemental liquid metals because of a combination of the interesting physical properties of Bismuth and its excellent neutron scattering properties. Over the last six decades there have been more than 10 independent studies of the structure of liquid Bi, near the melting temperature. This remarkable number of measurements provides an opportunity to compare these results and to analyze the different sources of error contributing to the calculated pair distribution function. In the present contribution we analyze possible sources of error by varying the analysis procedure for a given measurement. By repeating a previous measurement in a new experimental configuration we demonstrate that an invariant (i.e. up to an absolute error) structure factor can be obtained. Transforming the structure factor into the radial distribution introduces new sources of error which causes the scatter to be greater than that required to resolve issues such as the existence of liquid-liquid phase transitions in Bi and to obtain correlation between thermo-physical properties and structure. We consider the contribution of different parameters when transforming the structure factor to the radial distribution function.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012