Tantalum is most commonly used in capacitors for cell phones, laptops and other electronic devices. It is also used in surface-acoustic-wave filters, which are used in cell phones and TV sets to improve audio quality.
Aside from its use in consumer electronics, tantalum is a very stable and inert metal at standard conditions, so it is commonly used in areas where resistance to corrosion is an important concern. For example, it is used to make medical implants and surgical sutures. It is also used to line nuclear reactors. Tantalum wire was once used in incandescent light bulbs, but tungsten soon replaced tantalum as the favored light-producing metal.