Origin / Meaning of the name Tantalum
The name originates from King Tantalus, the father of Niobe, in Greek mythology. Tantalus was banished to Hades where he was placed up to his chin in water, which receded whenever he tried to drink it and under branches of fruit, which drew back whenever he tried to pick their fruit. This name was selected because of the insoluability of tantalum in acids, thus when placed in the midst of acids it is incapable of taking any of them up.
Periodic Table Group and Classification of the of the Tantalum Element
Elements can be classified based on their physical states (States of Matter) e.g. gas, solid or liquid. This element is a solid. Tantalum is classified as a "Transition Metal" which are located in Groups 3 - 12 of the Periodic Table. Elements classified as Transition Metals are generally described as ductile, malleable, and able to conduct electricity and heat.Nearly 75% of all the elements in the Periodic Table are classified as metals which are detailed in the List of Metals.
Facts about the History and the Discovery of the Tantalum Element
Tantalum was discovered by Anders Ekeberg in 1802. The element was isolated in 1820 by Jons Berzelius. The first relatively pure ductile metal was produced in 1903 by Werner von Bolton.
History of the Periodic Table
Check out the brief History of the Periodic Table which details dates and the names of famous scientists and chemists who contributed to the development of the Periodic Table.
Occurrence of the Tantalum Element
Obtained from the minerals tantalite, euxenite, samarskite, and fergusonite
Mined in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Africa, Portugal, and Thailand.
Abundances of the element in different environments
% in Universe 8×10-9%
% in Sun N/A
% in Meteorites 2×10-6%
% in Earth's Crust 0.00017%
% in Oceans 2×10-10%
% in Humans N/A
Associated Uses of Tantalum
Electronic components - Capacitors
Jet engine components
Chemical process equipment