Sodium is a chemical element with the symbol Na (from Latin natrium) and atomic number 11. It is a soft, silvery-white, highly reactive metal. Sodium is an alkali metal, being in group 1 of the periodic table. Its only stable isotope is 23 Na. The free metal does not occur in nature and must be prepared from compounds.
- Discovery and Name Origins
- Use as Element
- Occurrence and Production
- Use in Organisms
- Related Pages
Sodium is a light-weight, silver-colored metal. Sodium is soft, and because of that, someone could easily cut it with a knife. When someone cuts it, the exposed part will become white over time. It reacts with air to form sodium hydroxide and sodium carbonate. Sodium is a little less dense than water; when someone puts it in water, it floats and re...
Sodium was discovered by Sir Humphrey Davy, an English scientist, in 1807. He created it by electrolyzing sodium hydroxide. Davy named the element after soda, a name for sodium hydroxide or sodium carbonate.
Scientists can use it in the creation of organic compounds. People also use it in orange streetlights and lamps that emit ultravioletlight.
Sodium does not occur as an element in nature, because it is not stable enough. It exists only in chemical compounds. Sodium ions are found in the ocean and in the Earth's crust. Sodium is normally made by electrolysis of sodium chloride, which is mined from the Earth's crust.
The human body needs sodium ions, taken in the form of sodium chloride, to live, but too much of it can cause health problems. Many organisms in the ocean depend on the concentrationof sodium ions in water to survive.
- silvery white metallic
Aug 10, 2023 · Aug. 25, 2023, 1:46 AM ET (CBC) sodium (Na), chemical element of the alkali metal group (Group 1 [Ia]) of the periodic table. Sodium is a very soft silvery-white metal. Sodium is the most common alkali metal and the sixth most abundant element on Earth, comprising 2.8 percent of Earth’s crust.
- The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica
Sodium channels are known to be less selective in comparison to potassium channels. Sodium is the most prominent cation in extracellular fluid: in the 15 L of extracellular fluid in a 70 kg human there is around 50 grams of sodium, 90% of the body's total sodium content.
There are 21 isotopes of sodium (11 Na), ranging from 17 Na to 39 Na (except for the still-unknown 38 Na), and two isomers (22m Na and 24m Na). 23 Na is the only stable (and the only primordial) isotope. It is considered a monoisotopic element and it has a standard atomic weight of 22.989 769 28 (2). Sodium has two radioactive cosmogenic ...