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excess potassium, transition elements, corrosive agents, king of Lydia, dental instruments

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>  Properties and Occurence

Tantalum, symbol Ta, white, ductile, malleable metallic element. Tantalum is one of the transition elements of the periodic table. The atomic number of tantalum is 73. Tantalum was first obtained in pure form in 1820 by the Swedish chemist Baron Jons Jakob Berzelius, who heated potassium tantalifluoride, K2TaF7, with excess potassium. The element was named for Tantalus, king of Lydia and son of Zeus in Greek mythology.


Because it is more resistant than platinum to many corrosive agents, tantalum has largely replaced platinum in standard weights and in laboratory ware. The largest use of tantalum is for capacitors in electronic circuits and rectifiers in low-voltage circuits, such as railway-signaling systems. Because of its resistance to attack by acids of the human body and its compatability with body tissue, it is used to pin together broken bones. Tantalum is also used in surgical and dental instruments and in chemical heat exchangers. The oxide is an ingredient in special optical glass for aerial camera lenses.

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excess potassium, transition elements, corrosive agents, king of Lydia, dental instruments, Tantalus, son of Zeus, periodic table, Greek mythology, body tissue, electronic circuits, compatability, rectifiers, pure form, broken bones, human body, capacitors, oxide, acids, railway, platinum, ingredient, resistance, white, Uses

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