gSodium is a chemical element with the symbol Na (from Latin: natrium) and atomic number 11. It is a soft, silver-white, highly reactive metal and is a member of the alkali metals; its only stable isotope is 23Na. The free metal does not occur in nature, but instead must be prepared from its compounds; it was first isolated by Humphry Davy in 1807 by the electrolysis of sodium hydroxide. Sodium is the sixth most abundant element in the Earth's crust, and exists in numerous minerals such as feldspars, sodalite and rock salt (NaCl). Many salts of sodium are highly water-soluble, and their sodium has been leached by the action of water so that sodium and chlorine (Cl) are the most common dissolved elements by weight in the Earth's bodies of oceanic water. Many sodium compounds are useful, such as sodium hydroxide (lye) for soap-making, and sodium chloride for use as a de-icing agent and a nutrient (edible salt). Sodium is an essential element for all animals and some plants. In animals, sodium ions are used against potassium ions to build up charges on cell membranes, allowing transmission of nerve impulses when the charge is dissipated. The consequent need of animals for sodium causes it to be classified as a dietary inorganic macro-mineral. (Wikipedia.com).
Sodium is the sixth most abundant element in The Earth’s crust, which contains 2,83% of sodium in all its forms. Sodium is, after chloride, the second most abundant element dissolved in seawater. The most important sodium salts found in nature are sodium chloride (halite or rock salt), sodium carbonate (trona or soda), sodium borate (borax), sodium nitrate and sodium sulfate. Sodium salts are found in seawater (1.05%), salty lakes, alkaline lakes and mineral spring water. The production of salt is around 200 million tonnes per year; this huge amount is mainly extracted from salt deposits by pumping water down bore holes to dissolve it and pumping up brine. The sun and many other stars shine with visible light in which the yellow component dominates and this is given out by sodium atoms in a high-energy state. (www.lenntech.com)
Sodium at standard temperature and pressure is a soft metal that can be readily cut with a knife and is a good conductor of electricity. Freshly exposed, sodium has a bright, silvery luster that rapidly tarnishes, forming a white coating of sodium hydroxide and sodium carbonate. These properties change at elevated pressures: at 1.5 Mbar, the color changes to black, then to red transparent at 1.9 Mbar, and finally clear transparent at 3 Mbar. All of these allotropes are insulators and electrides When sodium or its compounds are introduced into a flame, they turn it yellow, because the excited 3s electrons of sodium emit a photon when they fall from 3p to 3s; the wavelength of this photon corresponds to the D line at 589.3 nm. Spin-orbit interactions involving the electron in the 3p orbital split the D line into two; hyperfine structures involving both orbitals cause many more lines. (Wikipedia.com)
Emission spectrum for sodium, showing the D line.
A positive flame test for sodium has a bright yellow color.
Sodium is generally less reactive than potassium and more reactive than lithium. Like all the alkali metals, it reacts exothermically with water, to the point that sufficiently large pieces melt to a sphere and may explode; this reaction produces caustic sodium hydroxide and flammable hydrogen gas. When burned in dry air, it mainly forms sodium peroxide as well as some sodium oxide. In moist air, sodium hydroxide results. Sodium metal is highly reducing, with the reduction of sodium ions requiring −2.71 volts. Hence, the extraction of sodium metal from its compounds (such as with sodium chloride) uses a significant amount of energy. However, potassium and lithium have even more negative potentials. (wikipedia.com)
20 isotopes of sodium are known, but only 23Na is stable....
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