Image shows niobium crystals

Detailed Description

Niobium: Niobium and tantalum are transition metals almost always paired together in nature. These “twins” are difficult to separate because of their shared physical and chemical properties. In 1801, English chemist Charles Hatchett uncovered an unknown element in a mineral sample of columbite; John Winthrop found the sample in a Massachusetts mine and sent it to the British Museum in London in 1734. The name columbium, which Hatchett named the new element, came from the poetic name for North America—Columbia—and was used interchangeably for niobium until 1949, when the name niobium became official. Niobium is a lustrous, gray, ductile metal with a high melting point, relatively low density, and superconductor properties. Niobium alloys are used in the superconducting magnets in particle accelerators like the #LHC @CERN. Niobium enhances steel's’ mechanical strength and toughness for use in structural supports. Image credit: By Alchemist-hp (talk) ( - Own work, FAL,


Image Dimensions: 5356 x 3229

Location Taken: US