Facts About Hassium

Hassium (Image credit: Andrei Marincas | Shutterstock)

Atomic Number: 108 Atomic Symbol: Hs Atomic Weight: (269) Melting Point: Unknown Boiling Point: Unknown

Word Origin: Hassium was named for the German state Hessen. Its name is derived from the Latin version of Hessen, Hassias.

Discovery: Hassium was discovered in 1984. It was first produced in Darmstadt, Germany, by a team led by Peter Armbruster and Gottfried Münzenber.

Properties of hassium

Hassium is a synthetic element about which little is known. It is presumed to be a solid metal, but since only a few atoms of it have been created, it is difficult to study. All of its isotopes have extremely short half-lives. There are nine isotopes, and the most stable is 270Hs with a half-live of 22 seconds.

The atomic weight for synthetic transuranium elements is based on the longest-lived isotope. These atomic weights should be considered provisional since a new isotope with a longer half-life could be produced in the future. [See Periodic Table of the Elements]

Sourcesof hassium

Hassium is produced artificially and only small amounts have been made.

It is made through bombarding atoms of an isotope of lead, 208Pb, with ions of an iron isotope, 58Fe. The Darmstadt team used a linear accelerator to do the bombarding, producing 265Hs and a free neutron.

Uses of hassium

Since only small amounts of hassium have been made, it has no commercial use. Its current use is for scientific study only.

(Sources: Los Alamos National Laboratory, Jefferson Lab)

Live Science Staff
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