Darmstadtium: the essentials

Darmstadtium, is a synthetic element that is not present in the environment at all. Further information on element 110 is here (outside WebElements) and in a press release (outside WebElements). The interested reader should consult the on-line version of The Wonderful World of Atoms and Nuclei for a fascinating insight into research on "super-heavy" atoms.

Chemically, darmstadtium is in the same Group as nickel, palladium, and platinum (Group 10). Unlike these lighter atoms, darmstadtium decays after a small fraction of a thousandth of a second into lighter elements by emitting α-particles which are the nuclei of helium atoms.

Table: basic information about and classifications of darmstadtium.

Darmstadtium: historical information

Darmstadtium was discovered by S. Hofmann, V. Ninov, F. P. Hessberger, P. Armbruster, H. Folger, G. Münzenberg, H. J. Schött, and others at 1994 in Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (GSI) in Darmstadt, Germany.. Origin of name: the name darmstadtium lies within the long established tradition of naming an element after the place of its discovery, Darmstadt, in Germany..

On the 9th of November 1994 at 4:39 pm the first atom of element 110, darmstadtium, was detected at the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (GSI) in Darmstadt, Germany. The isotope discovered has an atomic number of 269 (that is, 269 times heavier than hydrogen).

The new element was produced by fusing a nickel and a lead atom together. This was achieved by accelerating the nickel atoms to a high energy in the heavy ion accelerator UNILAC at GSI. Over a period of many days, many billion billion nickel atoms were fired at a lead target in order to produce and identify a single atom of darmstadtium.

Darmstadtium was the fourth element discovered at GSI. Between 1981 and 1984 the elements 107 (bohrium), 108 (hassium), 109 (meitnerium) were produced and identified there. Since the discovery of darmstadtium, elements 111 and 112 were both discovered at GSI.

Darmstadtium: physical properties

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Darmstadtium: orbital properties

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Isolation: only a few atoms of darmstadtium have ever been made, initially through a nuclear reaction involving fusion of an isotope of lead, Pb, with one of nickel, Ni.

208Pb + 62Ni → 269Ds + 1n

Isolation of an observable quantity has never been achieved, and may well never be. This is because atoms of the element decompose through the emission of α-particles with a half life of only about 270 microseconds. Another isotope was made by using a different isotope of nickel.

208Pb + 64Ni → 271Ds + 1n

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darmstadtium atomic number