Your phone died. Again. In these scenarios, who among us has not dreamed the dream of a future where our devices charge instantly and last forever. As capacitors—or even more exciting, ultracapacitors—get better and better at storing energy, they could replace batteries and realize at least one half of that dream.
You have likely never paid much attention to tantalum when you've gazed at the periodic table. It sits there, in the middle of a sea of transition metals, kind of out of the way and in the corner.