One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The chemical element of atomic number 72, a hard silver-gray metal of the transition series, resembling and often occurring with zirconium.
- ‘Gadolinium is a rare earth element, one of the elements that occurs in Row 6 of the periodic table between barium and hafnium.’
- ‘Samarium is a rare earth element, one of the elements that occupy the space in Row 6 of the periodic table between lanthanum and hafnium.’
- ‘For most of history, hafnium and zirconium were not clearly distinguished from each other.’
- ‘In contrast with tungsten, hafnium does not interact readily with iron-rich material, but it does combine readily with the elements in rocks lacking in iron.’
- ‘Titanium is found in column four along with chemically similar zirconium, hafnium, and thorium.’
1920s: modern Latin, from Hafnia, Latinized form of Danish Havn, former name of Copenhagen.
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