Hassium is an element with no known uses other than for research. As of 2014, scientists have not found it to occur naturally. They create it in the laboratory but in too small of an amount for practical uses.
Peter Armbruster, Gottfried Munzenber and their co-workers at GSI in Darmstadt, Germany, receive credit for the discovery of hassium in 1984. They named the element for Hassias, the German state where they created it. Hassium's atomic number is 108, and it has an atomic weight of 269. Nuclear bombardment of lead-208 with the nuclei of iron-58 forms hassium. However, the element only forms in minute amounts. The most stable of its 12 isotopes has a half-life of less than 10 seconds.
Hassium's radioactive properties make it dangerous to the health of humans. Researchers presume it to form as a metal but are unable to measure its density, melting point, boiling point or other physical properties.
Hassium is not the first synthetic element to be created in the lab by scientists. Uranium, with 92 protons, has the highest atomic number of any naturally occurring elements found in more than trace amounts, although scientists do report small amounts of naturally occurring neptunium-93 and plutonium-94. As of August 2013, the creation of element 115 by Swedish scientists is included in the periodic table of the elements as the synthetic element having the highest atomic number.