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     73    

73 Ta Tantalum

Transition metal, mass: 180.95 u, 1 stable isotope (181), the very rare nuclear isomer 180m has a half-life of at least 1015 years, abundance rank (earth/space): 41/83

Click image to magnify. Tantalum pieces, 20 grams. Overall size in cm: 4
Tantalum Tantalum pieces
Tantalum is a hard, ductile heavy metal, which chemically is very similar to niobium. Like this, it easily forms a protective oxide layer, which makes it very corrosion-resistant. Its color is steel grey with a little touch of blue and purple. Most tantalum is used for small capacitors with high capacity, like those in cellphones. Because it is nontoxic and well compatible with the body, it is used in medicine for prostheses and instruments. Tantalum is the rarest stable element in the universe, however, Earth has large deposits. Tantalum carbide (TaC) and tantalum hafnium carbide (Ta4HfC5) are very hard and mechanically enduring.

Large chunk of tantalum Large chunk of tantalum, back side
Large chunk of tantalum, 127 grams, 3 x 5 cm.

Piece of tantalum Piece of tantalum
Single pieces of tantalum, each about 1 cm in size.


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The images are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License, unless otherwise noted. Attribution by linking (outside of the internet credit with url) to the according element page.



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