Tantalum

tántalo tantalio

Tantalum is a hard metal named after Tantalus from Greek mythology. It is extracted from a rare mineral called tantalite. This hard metal is not harmful to the human body, so it is used to manufacture artificial joints and other body implants. Tantalum powder is used in capacitors. Because of its high mechanical strength, it is used to harden watches made of precious (softer) metals. Tantalum is also used to make strong turbine blades that do not corrode.

Summary of properties (Ta)

Atomic weight180.94788(2)
Discoverer (year)Ekeberg, Anders Gustav (1802)
Natural formmetallic solid (body centered cubic)
Electron configuration[Xe] 414 5d3 6s2
Melting point (ºC)2996
Boiling point (ºC)5425
Abundance in earth's crust (ppm)2
Isotope (abundance)180Ta (0.012), 181Ta (99.988)
Density g/cm316.65
Van der Waals radius (pm)222
Covalent radius (pm)158
Electronegativity (Pauling)1.5
Vaporization enthalpy (kJ/mol)753.10
Enthalpy of fusion (kJ/mol)36.57
Specific heat capacity (J/g·K) at 25ºC and 1 atm0.14
Thermal conductivity (W/cm·K) at 25ºC and 1 atm0.580
Oxidation state+5
Electron affinity (eV)0.32
1st Ionization potential (eV)7.5496

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