Tantalum is a transition metal on the periodic table. Sat between Hafnium and Tungsten, it has the atomic number of 73. First discovered in 1802 by A.G. Ekeberg in Sweden, Tantalum was named after the Greek mythological character, Tantalos. Tantalos was punished by being submerged in water, but unable to drink. This resonates with Tantalum, due to its almost invulnerability to acids.
Tantalum is chemically so similar to Niobium, that until 1844, they were considered to be the same chemical element. In their raw state, Tantalum and Niobium are usually found together.
Although Tantalum is not the most well-known metal, it’s used in almost all modern electrical devices; mobile phones, computers and televisions. So, whether you realise it or not, most people will have several belongings containing Tantalum.
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