Hassium, element 108, was first synthesized in 1984 at the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (Institute for Heavy Ion Research) in Darmstadt, Germany. The discoverers proposed the name hassium, after the state of Hesse in which Darmstadt is located.1 Hassia is the modern Latin for Hesse.

The chemical symbol for hassium is Hs.

(Personal note: At about the time these discoveries were being made, I was living about five miles down the road from the Darmstadt lab. I now live about five miles from the Lawrence Berkeley Lab and can see it from my building. I have no plans to relocate to Dubna, however.)

1”Names and Symbols of Transfermium Elements (IUPAC Recommendations 1997),” Chemistry International, 1998, Vol. 20, No. 2, p. 38, http://www.iupac.org/publications/ci/1998/march/recent.pdf.

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