|Discovered by||Sodium was discovered by Humphry Davy|
Physical Properties of Sodium
- Sodium has a strong metallic lustre and in colour is very analogous to silver.
- It is soft at common temperatures that it may be formed into leaves by the pressure of the fingers.
- Sodium compounds soon tarnish on exposure to the air, though less rapidly than potassium.
- Sodium is instantly oxidised by water, hydrogen gas in temporary union with a little sodium being disengaged.
Chemical Properties of Sodium
|Group||1||Melting point||97.794°C, 208.029°F, 370.944 K|
|Period||3||Boiling point||882.940°C, 1621.292°F, 1156.090 K|
|Block||s||Density (g cm−3)||0.97|
|Atomic number||11||Relative atomic mass||22.990|
|State at 20°C||Gas||Key isotopes||23Na|
|Electron configuration||[Ne] 3s1||CAS number||7440-23-5|
|ChemSpider ID||4514534||ChemSpider is a free chemical structure database|
What is Sodium?
- Sodium is a member of the alkali metal family with lithium and potassium. Being one of the two elements in our table salt is it’s the biggest claim to fame.
- We get sodium chloride (NaCl) when sodium bonds with chlorine (Cl). It is also used as a salt in fertilizers.
- Sodium is reactive, soft metal with a low melting point and most important of all the alkaline metals from the commercial point of view. Sodium reacts rapidly with water, snow, and ice to produce sodium hydroxide.
- When metallic sodium is exposed to air, it loses its silver appearance and develops an opaque grey colour layer which is a coating of sodium oxide. Sodium does not react with nitrogen even at very high temperatures but reacts with ammonia to form sodium amide.
- Sodium reacts with hydrogen above 200ºC to form sodium hydride. It also reacts with various metallic halides to form sodium chloride and the metal.
- With an atomic number of 11, it is represented by the symbol Na in the Periodic table.
Uses of Sodium
- It also used in improving the structure of certain alloys; soaps, purification of molten metals and in sodium vapour lamps.
- Sodium is a component of sodium chloride, which is a very important compound found in the living environment.
- Sodium is important in the manufacturing of organic compounds and in making esters.
- Solid sodium carbonate is required in making glass.