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What is Hassium

Hassium (pronunciation: HAS-ee-em) [1] is a synthetic [2], highly radioactive chemical element [1, 3] belonging to the transition metal family, represented by the chemical symbol Hs [2]. It is thought to have a solid metallic, silvery look and is quite a difficult element to study because only a few atoms have been made to date [1].

It has 15 isotopes [3], out of which the most stable one is hassium-276, with a half-life period of 1.1 hours [3]. As of now, the final product obtained after the radioactive decay of this isotope is not known [5].



Origin of its Name: The element is named after Hesse, the German state where it was first created [3].

Who Discovered Hassium: The German physicists Peter Armbruster and Gottfried Münzenberg are credited with discovering this element [3].

How was Hassium Discovered

In 1978, a research team headed by two Russian physicists Vladimir Utyonkov and Yuri Oganessian made the first effort to create element 108 at the JINR (Joint Institute for Nuclear Research) in Russia [3]. They discovered the new isotope 270 by bombarding radium with calcium [3]. Five years later, they bombarded bismuth with manganese to synthesize isotope 263, bombarded lead with iron to create isotope 264, and californium with neon to get isotope 270 [3].

In 1984, a team of researchers headed by Gottfried Münzenberg and Peter Armbruster created isotope 265 at GSI (Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung) in Germany by bombarding lead with iron [3]. The data from GSI was much more reliable and accurate as compared to that from JINR, and thus, the team from GSI was given the rights to name the element [3].

Element 108

Classification and Position of Hassium on the Periodic Table

Group 8 [3]
Period 7 [3]
Block d [3]

Properties and Characteristics of Hassium

General Properties

Relative atomic mass 269 [3]
CAS number 54037-57-9 [3]

Physical Properties

Color/appearance Presumably silvery white/ gray [6]
Melting point/freezing point Unknown [3]
Boiling point Unknown [3]
Density 41 kg cm-3 (estimated) [6]
State of matter at room temperature (solid/liquid/gas) Solid [3]
Hardness (Brinell, Mohs, Vickers) Unknown [7]
Electrical conductivity Unknown [7]
Thermal (heat) conductivity Unknown [7]
Specific heat Unknown [3, 7]
Bulk modulus Unknown [3]
Shear modulus Unknown [3]
Young’s modulus Unknown [3]
Vapor pressure
Temperature (K) 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 2200 2400
Pressure (Pa)

Chemical Properties

Flammability Unknown
Oxidation states Unknown [3]

Atomic Data of Hassium

Atomic number 108 [1, 3]
Valence electrons 2
Quantum numbers
– n 6 [8]
– ℓ 2 [8]
– m -2 [8]
– ms -1/2 [8]
Electron configuration (noble gas configuration) [Rn] 5f146d67s2 [3]
Atomic structure
– Number of electrons 108 [6]
– Number of neutrons 157 [6]
– Number of protons 108 [6]
Radius of Atom
– Atomic radius (Å) Unknown [3]
– Covalent radius 1.34 Å [3]
Electronegativity (Pauling-scale) Unknown [3]
Electron affinity (kJ mol-1) Unknown [3]
Ionization energy (kJ mol-1) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th

Hassium Bohr Diagram

What is Hassium used for

Since Hassium is not a naturally occurring element and has never been created in abundance, its use is now restricted only to research studies [3]. It is believed that the radioactive element might react with the other elements of its group if produced in large amounts [9].

Interesting Fact about Hassium

  • Since Hassium does not have its own image, it has been represented with the state of Hesse’s coat of arms logo to honor the German state [3].



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