Tantalum is used in vacuum tubes.
Standard State: solid at 298 K
Color: Gray blue
Discovered in 1802 by Ekeberg, but many chemists thought niobium and tantalum were
identical elements until Rose, in 1844, and Marignac, in 1866, indicated and showed that
niobic and tantalic acids were two different acids. The early investigators only
isolated the impure metal. The first relatively pure ductile tantalum was produced
by von Bolton in 1903. Tantalum is a gray, heavy, and very hard metal. When pure it is ductile and can
be drawn into fine wire, which is used as a filament for evaporating metals such aluminum.
Tantalum is used to make electrolytic capacitors and vacuum furnace parts, which
account for about 60% of its use. The metal is also widely used to fabricate
chemical process equipment, nuclear reactors, and aircraft and missiles parts.