Tantalum ( Ta )
Tantalum was first discovered by Anders Gusta f Ekeberg, a professor at Uppsala University in Sweden
Tantalum itself is a heavy (specific gravity of 16.6) blue-grey metallic element with a melting point of 2,996°C. It has excellent corrosion resistance, good ductility and is resistant to most acids. It displays a number of desirable physical properties - in electronics, it forms the basis of high-performance capacitors used in electrical goods, and when alloyed with iron, imparts excellent corrosion resistance. Consequently it is used in corrosive environments such as oil and gas pipelines.
Recently tantalum has generated much interest because of its use in capacitors in electronic equipment. Capacitors perform a vital function, storing electricity for a short period of time and ensuring that the current supplied stays within narrowly defined parameters - particularly useful in low-voltage applications such as mobile phones and PDAs, in which these tolerances can be very tight. Tantalum can be used as a replacement for platinum for laboratory apparatus which has to have good corrosion resistance, and the metal is also used within the chemical industry for similar reasons. The fluids in the human body do not react with the metal and, hence, it is used for surgical implants without rejection.