Tantalum

Atomic number: 73

Symbol: Ta

Category: transition metal

Density at 25°C: solid: density: 16.69 g·cm−3

Tantalum is really quite inert for a metal, tending not to react too much under ordinary conditions. Though in powdered form it is mostly used in capacitors because it has such a thin protective oxide layer. This makes it very useful for electronic devices like mobile phones and computers.

Chunks of 99.98% tantalum crystal. image: adapted from wikipedia


Use, natural applications or common combinations: 

  • acid resistant, except HF acid
  • surgical instrument and implants


Basic characteristics:

  • Standard atomic weight: 180.947 88(2)
  • Melting point:  3017 °C
  • Boiling point: 5458 °C
  • Radioactivity: most naturally stable
    • 180mTa may be slightly radioactive but over a very long time 1018 years (m means meta stable)