The major use for tantalum, as the metal powder, is in the production of electronic components, mainly capacitors and some high-end, audio-grade resistors.
Natural tantalum consists of two isotopes: Ta-181 is a stable isotope, and Ta-180m has a half life of over 1015 years (see scientific notation).
Wires made with tantalum metal were used for light bulbs until it was replaced by tungsten.
Given its inertness, tantalum is often used in surgical instruments and implants.
Given the size and weight advantages, tantalum capacitors are attractive for portable telephones, pagers, personal computers, and automotive electronics.
Several complicated steps are involved in the separation of tantalum from niobium.
Tantalum pentoxide is used to make special glass for camera lenses.
The name tantalum is derived from the Greek mythological character Tantalos, father of Niobe.
Tantalum is also a byproduct from tin smelting.
Other minerals containing tantalum include samarskite and fergusonite.
Tantalum is a transition metal that lies in period six of the periodic table, between hafnium and tungsten.
Tantalum is also used for making carbide tools for metalworking, and for the production of superalloys for jet engine components, chemical process equipment, nuclear reactors, and missile parts.
Tantalum occurs principally in the minerals tantalite and euxenite .
Capacitors made with tantalum and its oxide are widely used in portable telephones, pagers, personal computers, and automotive electronics.
Tantalum, formerly tantalium (chemical symbol Ta, atomic number 73) is a rare, blue-gray, lustrous metal.
Tantalum's melting point of 3,017 °C (boiling point 5,458 °C) is exceeded only by the melting points of tungsten and rhenium.
Tantalum ores are mined in Ethiopia, Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Canada, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Nigeria, Portugal, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Given that tantalum resists attack by body fluids and is nonirritating, it is widely used in making surgical instruments and implants.
Many contemporary chemists believed niobium and tantalum were the same element, until researchers showed (in 1844 and 1866) that niobic and tantalic acids are different compounds.
Tantalum is also used to produce a variety of strong, ductile alloys that have high melting points.
Tantalum wires and filaments are used for heating and evaporating metals such as aluminum.
Compounds containing tantalum are rarely encountered, and the metal does not normally cause problems in the laboratory.
Tantalum was discovered in Sweden in 1802 by Anders Ekeberg and isolated in 1820 by Jцns Berzelius.