Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A very hard, dense, gray metallic element that occurs chiefly in columbite-tantalite and is exceptionally resistant to chemical attack below 150°C. It is used to make electrolytic capacitors for portable electronic and computing devices; superalloys for aircraft, missile, and nuclear reactor parts; filaments; and surgical instruments. Atomic number 73; atomic weight 180.948; melting point 3,017°C; boiling point 5,458°C; specific gravity 16.4; valence 2, 3, 4, 5. cross-reference: Periodic Table.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Knowledge of this metal has been much increased by recent research. Brought to the elementary state by heating together sodium and an alkaline tantalofluoride and fused in an electric furnace, it appears as a solid of grayish-white color and metallic luster, like platinum, of specific gravity 16.64. It combines in a most remarkable way intense hardness with a high degree of ductility, so that it can be drawn into wire.05 millimeters in diameter having a resisting tensile stress ranging up to 93 kilos., or for fine wire 150 or 160 kilos., per square millimeter before breaking. It melts at 2,250–2,300° C., resists all the ordinary acids and alkaline solutions, is attacked by hydrofluoric acid and by fused caustic alkalis, and as thin wire bums, when heated in oxygen, with a bright white light.
  • noun Chemical symbol, Ta; atomic weight, 192. One of the rare metals occurring in various combinations, but hardly known at all in the separate metallic state.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Chem.) A rare nonmetallic element found in certain minerals, as tantalite, samarskite, and fergusonite, and isolated as a dark powder which becomes steel-gray by burnishing. Symbol Ta. Atomic weight 182.0. Formerly called also tantalium.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A metallic chemical element (symbol Ta) with an atomic number of 73.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a hard grey lustrous metallic element that is highly resistant to corrosion; occurs in niobite and fergusonite and tantalite

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[New Latin, from Latin Tantalus, Tantalus (from its high resistance to absorbing acids even when immersed in them); see Tantalus.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

A New Latin word derived by Swedish chemist Anders Gustaf Ekeberg in 1802, from Latin tantalus, named in honor of Tantalus. See -ium.

Examples

  • After processing, coltan turns into a powder called tantalum, which is used extensively in a wealth of western electronic devices including cell phones, computers and, of course, game consoles.

    rare metal incites conflict | clusterflock

  • It's called tantalum and, according to the WSJ, is "used in parts such as capacitors, which store electric charges, and help power most smartphones and other devices."

    Josh Dorfman: Conflict Minerals Conundrum: Transparency, Traceability and Tantalum

  • He also found that Iran was acquiring a rare metal called tantalum, "used in those roadside bombs that are being used against our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan."

    Iran's Nuclear Shopping List

  • Later, they would plug the holes with “buttons” made of a rare metal called tantalum.

    The Greatest Game

  • Later, they would plug the holes with “buttons” made of a rare metal called tantalum.

    The Greatest Game

  • Later, they would plug the holes with “buttons” made of a rare metal called tantalum.

    The Greatest Game

  • Later, they would plug the holes with “buttons” made of a rare metal called tantalum.

    The Greatest Game

  • Later, they would plug the holes with “buttons” made of a rare metal called tantalum.

    The Greatest Game

  • It's called tantalum and, according to the WSJ, is "used in parts such as capacitors, which store electric charges, and help power most smartphones and other devices."

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • Chavez, speaking today on state television, said Venezuela can't allow illegal miners to continue exploiting deposits rich in gold and coltan, an ore containing tantalum, which is used in mobile phones and video-game consoles.

    BusinessWeek.com -- Top News

Comments

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  • Ta

    December 1, 2007