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The Element Niobium


"The Atom"

Definition of the Niobium Element
A silvery, soft, ductile metallic element that occurs chiefly in columbite-tantalite and is used in steel alloys, arc welding, and superconductivity research. Niobium must be placed in a protective atmosphere when processed at even moderate temperatures because it tends to react with Oxygen, Carbon, the halogens, Nitrogen, and sulfur. This element is still widely referred to by its original name - Columbium. The Atomic Number of this element is 41 and the Element Symbol is Nb.

The Properties of the Niobium Element
Symbol of Element : Nb
Atomic Number : 41
Atomic Mass: 92.90638 amu
Melting Point: 2468.0 C - 2741.15 K
Boiling Point: 4927.0 C - 5200.15 K
Number of Protons/Electrons: 41
Number of Neutrons: 52
Crystal Structure: Cubic
Density @ 293 K: 8.57 g/cm3
Color : silvery white

Origin / Meaning of the name Niobium
Name Origin - Columbium was the name originally given to this element by Hatchet but IUPAC officially adopted "niobium" as the name originally given by Heinrich Rose in 1846. The word Niobium originates from Niobe, daughter of mythical Greek king Tantalus because the elements niobium and tantalum were originally thought to be identical elements.

Periodic Table Group and Classification of the of the Niobium Element
Elements can be classified based on their physical states (States of Matter) e.g. gas, solid or liquid. This element is a solid. Niobium 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 Niobium Element
Niobium was discovered by Charles Hatchet  in 1801 in the columbite ore that was sent to England in the 1750s by John Winthrop, the first governor of Connecticut. Hatchet therefore gave it the name Columbium. Heinrich Rose and Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac rediscovered the element in 1846. Christian Blomstrand was the first to prepare the metal in 1864.

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 Niobium Element
Obtained from columbite

Abundances of the element in different environments
% in Universe 210-7%
% in Sun 410-7%
% in Meteorites 0.000019%
% in Earth's Crust 0.0017%
% in Oceans 110-10%
% in Humans N/A

Associated Uses of Niobium
Tantalum capacitor
Steel alloys
Tantalum plating
Hot metal spraying
Arc welding
Super-conductivity research

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Transition Metals
List of Metals
Periodic Table

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