|Sodium was discovered by Humphry Davy
Physical Properties of Sodium
- Sodium exhibits a shiny metallic appearance, similar in color to silver.
- It is malleable at ordinary temperatures, allowing it to be easily molded into thin sheets with just the pressure of one’s fingers.
- Sodium compounds tarnish relatively quickly when exposed to the air, though not as swiftly as potassium.
- When sodium comes into contact with oxygen in the air, it forms sodium oxide, which subsequently reacts with water vapor to create a film of sodium hydroxide.
Chemical Properties of Sodium
|97.794°C, 208.029°F, 370.944 K
|882.940°C, 1621.292°F, 1156.090 K
|Density (g cm−3)
|Relative atomic mass
|State at 20°C
What is Sodium?
- Sodium belongs to the alkali metal family, alongside lithium and potassium. Its most notable claim to fame is being one of the two elements found in our table salt.
- Sodium chloride, commonly known as table salt, is produced by the reaction of sodium with chlorine. It is also utilized as a salt in fertilizers.
- This reactive and soft metal, a crucial alkaline element commercially, has a low melting point. Sodium swiftly reacts with water, snow, and ice, resulting in the production of sodium hydroxide.
- Upon exposure to air, metallic sodium undergoes a transformation, losing its silver appearance and developing an opaque grey layer, which is essentially a coating of sodium oxide. Remarkably, sodium does not react with nitrogen even at very high temperatures, but it does react with ammonia to form sodium amide.
- At temperatures above 200ºC, sodium reacts with hydrogen to produce sodium hydride. Additionally, it forms compounds with various metallic halides, resulting in the creation of sodium chloride and the corresponding metal.
- With an atomic number of 11, sodium is denoted by the symbol Na in the Periodic Table.
Uses of Sodium
- Sodium finds applications in enhancing the structure of specific alloys, manufacturing soaps, purifying molten metals, and in sodium vapor lamps.
- Being a component of sodium chloride, a vital compound in the living environment, sodium plays a crucial role.
- In the manufacturing process of organic compounds and the production of esters, sodium holds significance.
- Solid sodium carbonate is essential in the production of glass.