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Darmstadtium (pronounced darm-STADT-ee-mum) is a synthetic, radioactive element that was discovered by Czech physicists Sigurd Hofmann, Peter Armbruster and Gottfried Munzenberg in 1994. It is named after the city of Darmstadt, Germany where it was first produced .
The atoms of this super-heavy metal have an atomic mass of 281 u, making it one of the heaviest elements in the periodic table. It is also a member of the transuranic group, which includes any element in the periodic table with an atomic number larger than 92.
It is a d-block transactinide element that is placed in Group 10 of the periodic table and was predicted to have similar properties to its homologues, nickel, platinum and palladium. It is expected to be solid at room temperature and may have a density of around 34.8 g/cm3.
The most stable isotope of this chemical element is 271Ds, which has a half-life of 0.06 seconds. The other isotopes have half-lives of 0.1, 0.3 and 12.7 seconds.
A single atom of Ds was synthesized by bombarding lead-208 with nickel ions at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany. The resulting ion was then split into nine individual atoms of Ds-269 by a process called cold fusion.
Ds is a radioactive element that decays very quickly. Unlike other elements in the periodic table, it cannot be found naturally on Earth as it is unstable and quickly breaks down into other elements. Consequently, it is only synthesized in particle accelerators.